Toronto-based Porter Airlines has cancelled flights for another month amid pandemic-related travel restrictions and does not plan to resume flying until July 29.
This is the second time Porter has delayed its restart by a month after suspending commercial flights on March 20 as border closures and stay-at-home orders to combat COVID-19 halted most air travel around the world.
“The ongoing uncertainty presented by government travel restrictions, including border closures, is impacting our ability to operate flights,” said Michael Deluce, Porter’s chief executive officer. “We are closely watching developments and know that Porter will be an important part of providing people with travel options as the economy recovers.”
Privately-owned Porter, which mainly flies out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, has placed most of its 1,500 employees on the 75-per-cent federal wage subsidy, which is intended to keep workers on company payrolls.
The Canadian government recently extended the closure of the Canada-U.S. border to June 21, barring tourists and non-essential workers from crossing.
Canada’s largest carriers, Air Canada and WestJet, are flying a small portion of their usual schedules and have laid off or idled thousands of workers. Air Transat and Sunwing Airlines are grounded.
The airlines are generally refusing to provide refunds to customers who paid for domestic flights that were cancelled. The companies are relying on a statement from the regulator, the Canadian Transportation Agency, that said airlines need the cash to survive the industry collapse. The CTA’s opinion is a departure from those of regulators in Europe and the United States, where carriers were told to give customers their money back.
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