Island Airport update: Porter-Air Canada throwdown heats up
Air Canada has taken to the courts to whine about the Toronto Port Authority’s allotment of takeoff and landing spots at Toronto’s Billy Bishop Island Airport. The company is complaining the new allocation has given a “permanent gift” to Porter Airlines, which was given the majority of the spots, according to a report by Reuters. Porter had secured 44 of the 90 new slots, while Air Canada got 30 slots and U.S.-based Continental Airlines Inc. got 16. In other words, Porter loses its monopoly, but not to the point that it gets Air Canada off its back.
Air Canada lawyers say the process of allocating the spots was “fatally flawed” and ignored plans that could have given other air carriers more presence on the island. For example, Porter Airlines currently has seven flights scheduled to fly before 7 a.m. and after 10 p.m. Under Toronto Port Authority rules that discourage airlines from flying at night, these flights forfeit 16 landing spots because of their hours. Air Canada argues bumping those takeoffs to normal hours would free up dozens of spots for other carriers. That’s good news for competition (in theory, this means travellers pay less for tickets), but it’s bad news for lakeside dwellers who have to deal with more noise and air traffic.
We’ll have to wait for the court’s ruling, but we suggest Air Canada start offering free inflight food and a lounge with no-cost Web browsing, newspapers and espresso. You know, like a certain raccoon we know.
• Air Canada in court over Toronto airport dispute [Reuters]
• Air Canada to challenge Toronto Port Authority [National Post]
18 thoughts on “Island Airport update: Porter-Air Canada throwdown heats up”
Didn’t Air Canada have a monopoly on this airport from the days that it took over Air Ontario? Didn’t they give up on it?
My vote is with that loveable Racoon, Mr. Porter.
OK Racoons get into your attic, your chimney and carry diseases. Describes perfectly POrter and Deluce
It’s hard to be sympathetic with Air Canada. I mean after 16 years of their own monopoly they cut down their service to 5 flights a day and basically didn’t care about the desire of the travelling public. Then came along Porter and invested millions and rejuvinated the airport, now they want back? On top of that, out of 90 slots, Porter that is the major player and investor there got only fractionally more slots than them, so what’s the problem?!! Not to mention that Porter got 44 and AC and its partner Continental got 46 slots which is even more, AC is just never happy just like their motto: AC is never happy until you’re not happy!! No sympathy for them at all!
dove zaza, since you’re talking about carrying diseases, wasn’t it in fact Air Canada that sifted through the garbage of its competitors for information? It seems they have much more experience with garbage, dirt, virus and disease! It’s also very funny when AC complains about government favouritism having benefited from its hand-out a number of times….! Pretending to be a victim just does not suit Air Canadaflot!
Frank Sinatra, check your facts. The “millions” that Porter invested were heavily subsidized by taxpayers — everything from the $22 million that the Feds paid to settle the lawsuit Porter started against the City which never went anywhere; to the millions that EDC has loaned Porter to buy planes; to the break the Island Airport could afford to give Porter because the Port Authority refuses to pay a fair share of municipal taxes.
If Air Canada had those breaks, they’d have a flight every 30 minutes and serve free booze too.
There are raccoons and there are weasels.
Grow Smarter, grow smarter, why don’t you?! I’m not sure if it was 22 millions that Porter got for the breach of contract, but the problem there was the idiot in city hall that broke the contract. It’s not exactly as though Porter planned that in the hopes of some idiot coming to office and breaking the contract giving them a chance to sue!!! Like you preach, grow smarter! Porter is a private company and has not taken a dime in tax dollars, but if some one breaks their agreement after contractors have showed to build a certain bridge, Porter like any other entity is entitled to sue for breach of contract within the code of law. That’s different for your favourite company Air Canadaflot that milks the government every chance it gets for millions of dollars and in return provide a sub-standard service that is befitting of the communist bloc. Weasels, racoons, and then there are donkeys that keep following the same path even if it goes off a cliff. Grow smarter, why don’t you?!
Oh there will be free wi-fi in the AC lounge, it’s the same lounge as Porter… And as for the food, well Porter can keep their “choice selections”, I can’t wait for AC to return.
There was no contract Frank Sinatra. And Porter merely threatened to sue. The Liberal government just gave the Port Authority 25 million dollars for a bridge that would cost 22 million. The Port Authority then GAVE Porter 20 million. Export Development Corporation has since loaned Porter 283 million dollars approved by both Tony Clement and Jim Flaherty. My tax dollars again! Check your facts… Oh and PILTS — Port Authority needs to pay its fair share of taxes. Yet another handout that goes to help Porter….
Current Drive, I suppose we take your (AC) word for these so called “facts”, or not! Fact known to everyone is that Air Canadaflot has sucked the government dry over the years for hand-out, not loans and etc., hand-out, meaning money given for just being the wonderful airline that it is. Keep flying their kite and don’t think for a second that the traveling public does not know it, which is evident in consumer polls of their approval which is below 50%. Case closed!
Who to root for in this escapade? Nobody!
The TPA is a stupid institution. I’ve never heard of a TPA director or a TPA meeting where they’ve cared about anything but their business. They -own- the harbour? Oh really?
Porter doesn’t care at all about its neighbours. Their planes are quiet and environmentally friendly? BS. They’ve got a good thing going, with their location and help from the TPA. That’s what they care about. Can’t root for them against the giants. Yet they’ve never made money.
Air Canada just want to take Porter out so that flyers will go back to them without a choice. Porter is costing them money…
That airport is small, with poor connections, limited. It works in a small kind of way. I think any expansion of flights will just dilute the bucks and it will all collapse -again-. Will Porter survive Air Canada under-cutting them? Can’t see it.
Mr. Deluce is a majority shareholder of Air Canada and former owner of Air Ontario (as well as several regional airlines in Canada and around the world). Don’t feel too sorry for anyone in this case.
I love Porter. I don’t love Air Canada.
Only two groups of people oppose Porter: Air Canada cronies, and socialist organizations such as community air and Non Directional Party (NDP) advocates, all of whom have probably not flown Porter and experienced its convenience and service. As a water front resident, I have and I love Porter. In contrast, I dread the flights I may have to take on Air Canada because its culture, service and product is poor and even if it gave me free flights and triple points, I would not fly it if I had a choice, unless they bring-in new employees and product and service like that of Porter. All these legal actions and wasting time and money in inane legal battles that Air Canada wages on its competitors make it lesss appealing to me and I’m sure many other consumers. Air Canada, call-in Porter people to teach you how it’s done!!
I don’t know why all the fuss with Porter. If the economy sinks in H2-2010 and H1-2011 as many suggest, Porter will not get an IPO off and the money it needs to survive or finish the terminal building will not be there. If the economy dips for long Porter probably has less that a 50-50 chance of survival.
Make up your minds people, first you call AC whiners and how they monopolized. Now Porter is monopolizing but that’s okay apparently. Plus the sandwiches they serve on Porter are dry and tasteless. I refuse them every time in favour of getting real food when I land in Montreal.
I’m with AC on this one.. and whats with the reporter saying Air Canada is whining?
And, Deluce is knows for running and airline into bankruptcy while making away with millions himself. Porter has already lost over 20 million, its only a matter time.
Air Canada’s reign should have been over decades ago. Ridiculously (read unfair) prices, decreased schedules, poor (read rude) inflight service and more government handouts than any business in this country deserves. I believe Air Canada turned down the Toronto Island Airport business years ago thinking it was not worth their while. Another great mistake on their management’s part. AC needs to take a few lessons from Porter to learn about great service (online, telephone, agents at checkin, inflight crew, snacks, on time flights). I won’t fly AC under any circumstance because I don’t have to and if there is one thing this nation does not need it is a monopoly!
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