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Porter Airlines is significantly investing in Thunder Bay, Ont., by adding flights and officially opening its new crew base for pilots and flight attendants.
The base grand opening received an added dose of excitement when the airline announced that it is increasing its schedule, with up to seven daily roundtrip flights to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.
There will be as many as 45 weekly flights, beginning April 12.
“Thunder Bay is among our busiest destinations,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “Our decision to base crew here and add flights allows us to better serve this growing market and attract team members who value the northern lifestyle.”
Twenty crew members are already established at the base and will begin operating flights this week. They represent a variety of backgrounds, including: Porter team members transferring from other bases; crew with previous aviation experience already living in the city; and those moving from other locations in Canada.
A total of 40 crew members will eventually be located in Thunder Bay as hiring and training progresses during the year. This is the first crew base in Northern Ontario for any large commercially-scheduled airline.
“The establishment of a Porter crew base places over 40 well-paying aviation jobs into the Thunder Bay economy,” said Ed Schmidtke, president and CEO of Thunder Bay International Airports Authority Inc.
“The airport authority appreciates the confidence Porter has demonstrated in Thunder Bay through the crew base and the additional frequency.”
Porter began operating in Thunder Bay in 2008. In its 10th year, Porter has more flight options to Toronto than any other airline with up to seven daily flights. Each flight also has continuing service to and from Montreal or Ottawa, meaning passengers can stay on the aircraft during the brief stopover in Toronto.
Porter flies a 29-aircraft fleet of Bombardier Q400 aircraft configured with 74 seats. Each flight operates with two pilots and two flight attendants.