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The Globe and Mail

Air Canada to start flying out of Toronto Island airport

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Deborah Baic

Air Canada will start flying from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on May 1, a move that will put the carrier in direct competition with Porter Airlines Inc.

Air Canada signed a leasing deal with the airport facility's landlord, City Centre Terminal Corp., which is headed by Porter chief executive officer Robert Deluce.

Tickets will got on sale starting Monday for Air Canada's flights beginning in May at the Toronto island airport, featuring 15 round-trips daily on the Toronto-Montreal route.

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Porter has enjoyed a monopoly on commercial flights at Billy Bishop since it launched service in October, 2006.

The Toronto Port Authority oversees the airport, but City Centre Terminal owns the recently expanded buildings. "Opening the airport to new carriers is a key element of our long-term business plan, and can only serve the best interests of the passengers who love the easy access of our downtown airport," TPA chief executive officer Geoffrey Wilson said in a statement Friday.

Air Canada will be deploying Bombardier Q400 turboprops operated by Sky Regional Airlines Inc. - the same type of aircraft in Porter's fleet.

"Air Canada is extremely pleased to return to Toronto island and expand the range of travel options for our customers," Air Canada chief commercial officer Ben Smith said in a statement.

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