Porter Airlines announces that it will resume flight services to Canadian destinations on September 8 after more than a year of closure.
The Toronto-based airline announced the decision in a statement Monday, saying the service would resume after nearly 18 months of shutdowns due to the number of COVID-19 cases, as well as public health and travel restrictions.
“This is the moment our team members, passengers and the communities we serve have been waiting for,” said Michael Deluce, President and CEO of Porter Airlines.
“The pandemic has progressed to the point that we can now begin to restore service to our network. “
The airline, headquartered at Billy Bishop Airport, said it would also resume service on its U.S. flights from September 17.
The flight schedule is coming back in phases, the company said, with the initial group of Canadian destinations being Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, St. John’s, Thunder Bay and Toronto.
The airline said flights to U.S. destinations, including Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington, would follow on September 17.
After nearly 16 months of strict travel restrictions, Canada has started to relax the rules for fully vaccinated travelers. Starting today, fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will be able to bypass the 14-day quarantine and three-day hotel stay.
“Being grounded for over a year has been incredibly difficult for everyone involved,” Deluce said in a statement on Monday.
“Like Porter, our team members have shown remarkable levels of engagement, commitment and optimism during this uncertain time, despite the vast majority not being able to work.
The company said it would recall around 500 team members to work when the first phase of flights was introduced, adding that more staff would be brought back in the following months as flights and destinations returned to the schedule.
To provide flexibility and give travelers peace of mind, the airline said it makes all fares purchased before July 20, for travel through December 15, 2021, fully refundable, at no charge.
Travel restrictions between Canada and the United States prohibiting non-essential travel across the border are due to expire on July 21.