Porter Airlines is establishing a crew base in Thunder Bay, as of January 2018.
The move creates at least 40 local jobs for pilots and flight attendants.
It is the first such base in Northern Ontario for any large commercially-scheduled airline.
“Thunder Bay is a significant Northern Ontario center that is very important to Porter’s network,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “The ability to base crew there allows us to hire people who value their northern connections and also want an opportunity to fly larger aircraft to more locations.”
Porter has operated in Thunder Bay since 2008. Its presence has grown over the years to a current schedule of up to six daily flights to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Connecting flights reach throughout the airline’s network of more than 20 other destinations, including Ottawa, Montreal, Boston, New York and Chicago.
“This Porter decision brings a large number of jobs to Thunder Bay and confirms the importance of aviation in the regional economy,” said Ed Schmidtke, president and CEO of Thunder Bay International Airports Authority Inc.
Porter operates a 29-aircraft fleet of Bombardier Q400 aircraft configured with 74 seats. Final assembly takes place at Bombardier’s Toronto site. Aircraft features include modern avionics, high cruise speed, revolutionary cabin noise-reduction technology and environmentally-friendly engines. The modern Q Series aircraft are the quietest turboprops flying today, due to the revolutionary Noise and Vibration Suppression (NVS) System. The aircraft uses 30 to 40 per cent less fuel than comparable regional and narrow-body jets.
Porter also has crew bases in Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.