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A Porter Airlines flight makes its final approach as it lands at the airport in Ottawa, on July 2, 2019.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Porter Airlines flights have resumed for the first time in nearly 18 months since being grounded by COVID-19 public-health and travel restrictions.

Flights to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Thunder Bay are the first to restart, followed by other Canadian destinations such as Halifax, Quebec City, St. John’s and Moncton, N.B. within the next 10 days. Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington return Sept. 17, while other year-round destinations will resume Oct. 6.

The Toronto-based airline is recalling hundreds of workers as the resumption of operations accelerate.

Porter says it has enhanced its health standards with high levels of sanitization to protect passengers and employees.

Employees must be fully vaccinated or present negative COVID-19 tests administered within 72 hours of the start of their shift.

Bookings made before Sept. 30, will be eligible to change or cancel with no fees. Passengers also have the option to pay $40 plus taxes to receive a full refund upon advance cancellation of their flight for any reason.

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