If you’re looking for a classy yet affordable regional airline to fly to eastern Canada and the northeastern US, Porter Arilines is the way to go. Since 2006, Porter has opened its doors at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, under threat of closure. This has resulted in a convenient close proximity to Toronto, especially for business passengers. It has quickly grown into the third largest scheduled carrier, winning the prestigious 4-star rating by Skytrax three years running, the only airline in Canada to win the award.
Porter Airlines, classy retro with mod cons
Porter has also been very cognizant of its image in the market. The whole look and feel of the airline is classy retro, with modern conveniences. The planes have propellers, the attendants wear classy navy blue uniforms, and the seats are all leather–no first-class distinctions. Everyone gets the same service, but its all great quality. Plus, they have the Toronto City Airport to themselves, and have done a great job with the design of the lounge. Free wi-fi service, free snacks of peanuts and shortbread, even free coffee are available as passengers await their flights.
On board, drinks are served in real glassware, the boxed lunches are small, but actually taste great, and luggage flies for free, a scarce commodity in recessionary times.
Porter raccoon mascot is cheeky not tacky
Even the in-flight magazine RE: Porter reads more like a lifestyle magazine. Porter hired a London ad agency Winkreative to handle the creative for Porter airlines. They chose a raccoon mascot because it had a fun, warm feeling, cheeky but not tacky. Also, they wanted to re-create the glamor of the 50s and 60s, with perks in an age of cost-cutting across the board. Flying refined is Porter’s tagline, akin to flying in a private jet.
Currently, Porter Airlines services Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax, St. John’s, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston (Logan), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que. and Myrtle Beach, SC. They are expanding rapidly, adding daily flights to existing destination as demand warrants, and adding destinations strategically. This year, for example, the Montreal – Halifax route was added to the mix, and increased the number of daily flights from 9 to 11 for Newark, NJ.
Porter also chose very carefully its preferred airplane. The Bombardier Q400 is a modern and environmentally-friendly aircraft, employing state-of-the-art equipment and technology. Thanks to narrow-bodied design, It is also the most fuel-efficient aircraft in its class.
Overall, Porter Airlines is a top-notch airline, quickly moving into first place, thanks to its strategic vision, quality service and great branding.