The “little airline that could” has done it again. 01NOV Porter marked another milestone, the carrier’s first transborder flight from YYZ. (Porter was established, and still has a strong presence, at YTZ, Toronto’s Billy Bishop – “The Island” – Airport, located closer to downtown.)
The new destination, Tampa, is just one of a wide range of cities south of the border soon to be featured by Porter. Other destinations will include a lot of the Sunshine State (MCO, RSW FLL and MIA), as well as SFO and LAX.
It’s clear the pax on this inaugural flight were pretty happy, enjoying complimentary coffee and snacks in the departure lounge and receiving a surprise but welcome gift of a CAD $150 Porter voucher. One passenger I spoke to told me how much she loved Porter, enjoying the 2 x 2 seat configuration on all planes – so you are never stuck in a middle seat - the complimentary beverages, and even the pillbox hats on the female flight attendants, which she declared “adorable.”
Porter started with a business model they have stuck to, which means firmly targeting the Y-class passengers. “We are defining what economy class travel can mean,” said Lawrence Hughes, the carrier’s EVP and Chief People Officer. “Most airlines target low cost or high end. But no one has removed the pain points of flying, so we are doing just that.” Hughes also shared with Open Jaw that flights to Mexico and the Caribbean are in the pipeline.
Porter’s trademarks (the 2 x 2 seating, the complimentary beverages – in glass glasses-free, fast WiFi and fuel-efficient, quiet aircraft) are all building a loyal following. Khalil Lamrabet, CCO for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, pointed out that in one short year, Porter has grown to be the number three carrier at YYZ, a remarkable achievement. “This is Porter’s 10th route launch since joining YYZ earlier this year and is one of our fastest-growing airlines in terms of destinations and seat capacity.”
On a personal note, I’ve really enjoyed flying Porter in the past, what with the super-friendly cabin crews, that 2 x 2 seating, the thoughtful inflight inclusions and yes, the adorable pillbox hats.
From that plucky little airline on that quirky little island to a significant player at Canada’s largest airport, it’s clearly onward and upwards for Porter!