City's new carrier takes wing

City's new carrier takes wing
Passengers spared 'the torture' of Pearson Airport
Oct. 23, 2006. 08:32 AM

OTTAWA - You could have shown up at Toronto Centre City Airport at 6:30 this morning and gotten a seat on Porter Airlines' 7 a.m. flight to Ottawa.
But, with a half-full plane and a couple of teething-trouble glitches balanced by a government contract to give federal employees cheaper flights, no one was downhearted.

Tracey Baker got an extra hour in bed and was spared, she said, "the torture" of Pearson International.

"I got up today at 5:30 rather than 4:30 and it was a five-minute cab ride to the airport," said Baker, who works for the Business Development Bank of Canada.

In the Porter departure lounge, no one seened to know the password for the business-centre computers and there was a flurry to find cream for the complimentary coffee.

The 70-seat Bombardier Q400 left a few minutes late, but arrived on time with passengers applauding the takeoff and landing.

Mayor David Miller wants to shut down the airport as part of the waterfont revitalization.

"No disrespect to Mr. Miller, but he's wrong," said Industry Canada employee Christine Daniel.

"The Island Airport and this airline are real assets to Toronto."
Apparently the Community AIR protestors at the foot of Bathurst didn't even hear the first two departures take off...

Not that I'm surprised.
If the protestors were really concerned about pollution and noise, they would be focusing their efforts on reducing vehicular traffic into the downtown core. The amount of pollution coming off of the Gardiner alone each day is probably thousands of times more than is produced by those Q-400's that Porter is using.
Congratulations to Porter on their maiden flight. Hopefully they'll get more routes online sooner rather then later.
It seems TCCA have a really good chance with Porter. Ran by the foot of Bathurst, and there are lots of protesters and police (and media) still. Checked flights, and they're $120 + tax each way to Ottawa, flat rate. Not bad, but not cheap enough for me to not take a train.
I saw the Porter shuttle bus travelling along Front Street yesterday. Very nice looking bus.
It's the "+ tax" part that's the problem.

But what's the airport fee at YTZ? And is there a fuel surcharge? If it comes to just NavCan, YOW's fee, GST, security, then it's not so bad. I can see it being competitive.

My biggest beef with Porker is all the tax money going into it. And that Deluce is a dick.
Bear in mind that West Jet and Air Canada are charging less to fly out of Pearson to Ottawa. I think Porter will be around for a shorter time than the Rochester Ferry was.
^ Yeah, but they're catering to a clientele for whom time is money, especially when we're not talking about a whole hell of a lot more money. (Even moreso when you factor in costs of going to and from the airport.)

Like the Rochester Ferry, it won't be the service on its own merits that makes or breaks this one, it'll be external factors. Will they get gates at big-city airports, and how much will they have to pay for them? Will (or when will) the price of gas do something stupid? Will they have the rug pulled out from under them at the island airport? Will Air Canada get their come-uppance for being evicted from the Island by somehow denying Porter access to something more important elsewhere?

I don't know if I'd invest, but I for one believe that the market they're targeting exists, and will pay the rates they're asking. I guess the size of the market is another question. Ten flights to Ottawa every day... man, that's a lot of bureaucrats.
Bureacrats (and not many of them, given the emptiness of the planes and the number of comped tickets reported in the paper today) flying at the lowest possible cost - Air Canada & West Jet will keep lowering prices to a point where he can't afford to put planes in the air.
If they get a few more bulk customers outside of the feds (ie. corporations that require bulk travel from T.O. to the other proposed ~500km cities- NY, Chicago,Boston,etc), I think Porter Airlines becomes viable..

Porter signs deal to provide discounted flights to government employees

Porter Airlines, which will fly its first flight from Toronto's island airport to Ottawa on Monday, has inked a key deal with the federal government to provide discounted flights to government employees. Meanwhile local politicians, including Mayor David Miller, argue Porter's plans are detrimental to the city's waterfront revitalization efforts and that planes should be grounded. The upstart airline said yesterday it has signed an agreement to provide discounted fares to the government's central travel booking service, operated by Public Works and Government Services Canada. Air Canada and WestJet already have similar agreements.
Further those that would fly Porter, usually fly executive or business class at Pearson, which is a large price premium.

Most business travellers are not as concerned as much about the price as the average consumer is, since their company pays for it, ie. it is expensed.

I believe that Porter is absolutely going after the customer that SNF describes.

i.e "putting the dignity back in travel",
"luxury lounge",
"comped food",

these things are attributes of executive class.

I've never ridden executive class (always economy). I do business air travel about 1-2 times a month out of my own pocket, and would be willing to pay a small added premium on my flight since adding between 30-45 minutes to your commute every time you travel and rolling the dice with traffic every time, is just a colossal pain.
Most business travellers are not as concerned as much about the price as the average consumer is, since their company pays for it, ie. it is expensed.

Only if they aren't interested in staying in business. In today's business climate, no one suceeds by wasting money.
Only if they aren't interested in staying in business. In today's business climate, no one suceeds by wasting money.

What aobut businesses that must stay competitive to retain talent?

It is not a waste of money for corporations that need to keep highly skilled and frequent business travelling employees happy.