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Porter Air at the Toronto Island Airport. (Peter Power/Peter Power/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
Porter Air at the Toronto Island Airport. (Peter Power/Peter Power/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Jazz drops lawsuit over island airport Add to ...

Jazz Air Income Fund has dropped its lawsuit in the Federal Court of Canada against the Toronto Port Authority and Porter Airlines Inc., but Air Canada is pressing ahead.

Jazz's statement of claim in June, 2007, questioned whether the TPA, a federal agency, overstepped its jurisdiction to effectively hand a monopoly to Porter at the island airport near downtown Toronto's business core. Jazz, a regional carrier that flies on behalf of Air Canada, filed its "discontinuance" in the case Monday.

But Air Canada is forging ahead with its legal proceedings against the TPA and Porter in Federal Court. In February, Air Canada said in court documents that the TPA is favouring Porter while impeding Jazz. Air Canada is seeking to have Jazz re-enter Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport with 74 takeoffs and landings daily.

"It is not the role of the TPA to suppress competition - its duty is to run a public facility for the benefit of the travelling public, with fair access for interested carriers," Air Canada chief commercial officer Ben Smith said in a statement Monday. A court hearing is set for July 6-8 into Air Canada's application for a judicial review.

"It is unknown what other arrangements, financial or otherwise, exist between the TPA, a public authority and Porter, a private commercial enterprise, to the detriment of consumers and airline competition," Mr. Smith said. "But the TPA, as the operator of a public facility, has the obligation to provide proper access to all airlines, which in turn will provide choice and convenience to the travelling public. Air Canada's customers want access to this airport and we're determined to be able to serve them."

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