Porter Airlines ready to spread wings across North America

Signs conditional purchase order for up to 30 Bombardier CS100 aircraft, 6 Q400 NextGen aircraft
Seeks support of City of Toronto, Federal Government, Toronto Port Authority

TORONTO, April 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Porter Airlines has signed a conditional purchase order for 12 Bombardier CS100 aircraft, with options for an additional 18 CS100 aircraft. The agreement also includes purchase rights for six Q400 NextGen aircraft. Delivery of Porter's first CS100 aircraft would be in 2016.

Porter Airlines confirms it is the unidentified, Americas-based customer that signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for CS100 aircraft as announced by Bombardier on December 19, 2012. The LOI was recently converted to a conditional purchase agreement. The total purchase value could reach $2.29 billion US, if all options and purchase rights are exercised.

"We have determined that the CS100 airliner with a 107 seat configuration is the ideal aircraft to operate from our home base at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and will make it possible for Porter to open up new destinations, such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, Florida and the Caribbean," said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. "Bombardier has developed an environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art aircraft that will have a comparable sound level to our existing quiet Q400 turboprops, and offer passengers wider seats, larger windows and more baggage space."

Porter flew its first flight in October 2006, and now serves 19 regional destinations in central, eastern and Atlantic Canada, plus the Midwest and mid-Atlantic in the U.S. Porter has created 1,400 direct jobs, with approximately 80 per cent in the Toronto area. Another 1,000 jobs at Porter are possible through the addition of these new aircraft.

In October 2012, the Toronto Port Authority released an economic impact study indicating that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport produces nearly $2 billion a year in economic benefits for the Toronto.

"Porter Airlines is proud of everything it has accomplished in almost seven years of operation," said Donald Carty, chair of the board of Porter Airlines. "We have a proven track record as a responsible and responsive airline operator and a good neighbor. We believe opening up these new, longer-range destinations will have a positive effect on Toronto's economy and competiveness, stimulating new business and tourism interest in our city."

"We are tremendously excited at the possibility of opening up these new destinations and being able to offer highly competitive fares on these routes," said Deluce.  "In order to proceed, we require the support of the signatories to the Tripartite Agreement that has governed Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport since 1983: the City of Toronto, Government of Canada, and Toronto Port Authority."

Porter Airlines will shortly be requesting the tripartite parties consider two amendments that would allow the operation of the CS100 aircraft at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. The first consideration is permitting use of this model of jet aircraft, while the second consideration is a modest 168 meter extension into water at each end of the existing main runway. This can be accommodated without changes to existing marine boundaries.

"Thirty years ago, when the Tripartite Agreement came into effect, jets were noisy and not particularly environmentally friendly," said Deluce. "We chose the Bombardier CSeries aircraft because they are the world's quietest commercial jets in production. The CS100 jetliner is ideal for operation at downtown urban airports, is comparably quiet to our existing Q400 aircraft fleet, uses less fuel per seat than many modern compact cars, and creates up to 50 per cent lower emissions than similar aircraft.

"We are delighted that with the CS100's performance capabilities, Porter can serve destinations across North America while staying within the airport's current boundaries and not affecting the boating community's use of the water." 

"This is an exciting and proud moment for the CSeries aircraft program as it welcomes its first Canadian customer. We are thrilled that Porter Airlines continues to look to Bombardier aircraft for its growth requirements and with its selection of the CS100 jetliners, this award-winning airline will continue with greener, quieter flying - courtesy of an all-Bombardier fleet," said Mike Arcamone, president, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "The CS100 aircraft offers superb cabin and performance flexibility. It has transcontinental range, superior field performance, including excellent runway performance, and will contribute greatly to Porter Airlines sustainability and future growth. We look forward to seeing the technologically-advanced CSeries aircraft take to the skies in Canada and its neighbouring regions."

"We're looking forward to open, transparent and productive discussions with all three parties on this exciting opportunity," said Deluce. "This is an important step for Porter and good news for Toronto and the travelling public."

Further details are available at porterplans.com.

About Porter Airlines
Porter Airlines has revolutionized short-haul flying with a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating® by Skytrax, and rated second in the world in Condé Nast Traveler's Readers Choice Awards Top Small Airlines category. 

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax, St. John's, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston, Washington (Dulles) and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Burlington, Vt.

Visit www.flyporter.com or call (888) 619-8622 for more information.

Bombardier, CS100, CSeries, NextGen and Q400  are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

Image with caption: "Porter Airlines announced a conditional order on April 10, 2013, for up to 30 Bombardier CS100 aircraft to operate from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, making it possible to serve destinations such as Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, Florida and the Caribbean. These whisper jets are environmentally friendly and state-of-the-art aircraft with a comparable sound profile to Porter's existing quiet Bombardier Q400 turboprops. (CNW Group/Porter Airlines Inc.) (CNW Group/Porter Airlines Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130410_C4087_PHOTO_EN_25376.jpg

SOURCE: Porter Airlines Inc.

For further information:

Media note: Porter representatives will be available for interviews as of approximately 2 p.m., at the conclusion of today's event.

Media contact: Brad Cicero, Porter Airlines, (416) 619-8593 / (416) 629-5590

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