Porter Confirms CSeries Aspirations

 - April 10, 2013, 5:15 PM
Porter Airlines wants to place a firm order for 12 CSeries jets, but first it must clear some bureaucratic hurdles. (Photo: Bombardier)

Toronto-based Porter Airlines on Wednesday revealed itself as the “unidentified Americas-based” customer for the Bombardier CSeries. The purchase agreement, still subject to certain conditions including relaxing the airport’s limitations on jet operations, calls for a firm order for 12 CS100s and options on another 18. Porter also decided to secure so-called purchase rights on another six Bombardier Q400 turboprops, potentially increasing the size of its Q400 fleet to 32. If Porter places all the firm orders and exercises all its options, the value of the deal would total $2.29 billion at list prices.

Conclusion of the deal will hinge on Porter Airlines’ ability to convince elected officials to amend a 1983 tripartite agreement between the Toronto Port Authority, the city of Toronto and the Federal Minister of Transport that restricts the use of jets at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Porter also proposes extending the airport’s 4,000-foot main runway by 10 percent on each end accommodate the field performance of the CS100.

“We will work closely with the City of Toronto, the Government of Canada and the Toronto Port Authority to make sure that any changes are considered and thoughtfully executed to make sure that we do as much good as we can, with minimum inconvenience,” said Porter in a statement.

For its part, the Toronto Port Authority said it would take no position on Porter’s “business aspirations.”  

“For the past 30 years, the TPA has operated the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport based upon the terms of the 1983 Tripartite Agreement, and will continue to do so,” said the Port Authority in a statement. “The TPA will not consider any change of use to the airport until a determination is first made by the elected representatives on Toronto City Council regarding Porter’s proposed changes to the 1983 Tripartite Agreement.”