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Porter Airlines Receives Government Funding
Porter Airlines has received funding to help it through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Toronto-based airline has received around CAD 135 million dollars ($96 Million USD) through Export Development Canada, with the funding secured by a portion of its fleet. The airline has suspended operations since March 20, with a tentative restart date of June 1.
Like airlines globally, Porter has faced an unprecedented drop in demand due to the ongoing pandemic. The airline is in a fortunate position in which it owns most of its 29 Bombardier Dash 8 fleet and only has debts on three aircraft. This enabled them to utilize the aircraft as security in the funding agreement which will assist in surviving the ongoing pandemic.
Although the US has recently signed an economic bill that will see airlines receive billions of dollars of funding, so far the Canadian government has not taken action. Representatives from Air Canada and WestJet have been having discussions with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over government funding. However, it is still unclear how the Canadian government will respond to the calls for funding. Already many Canadian airlines have had to lay off thousands of employees due to the pandemic.
Airlines across Canada have been hit hard since the closure of the US-Canadian border to non-essential travel. Despite government restrictions hurting Porter, airline representatives support the government’s decision to restrict travel. In addition to Porter, Air Transat has announced that it will suspend flying between April 1 and April 30. WestJet and Air Canada, like many airlines, have announced severe cuts to its schedule due to the pandemic.
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