Porter is offering two-year vouchers for flights it cancelled as a result of the virus, as well as waiving change and cancellation fees, in an April 27, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Porter is offering two-year vouchers for flights it cancelled as a result of the virus, as well as waiving change and cancellation fees, in an April 27, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Porter planes to remain grounded through June due to COVID-19 pandemic

Two-year vouchers offered for cancelled flights

Porter Airlines is extending its suspension of all flights by another four weeks until June 29 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Toronto-based carrier stopped flying on March 21 as travel controls and rising public health concerns choked off demand.

“While there are many promising signs about how COVID-19 is being contained, it is also clear that border restrictions, government-imposed stay-at-home orders and bans on non-essential travel will remain in place for many regions through much of May and into June,” Porter CEO Michael Deluce said in a release Monday.

His move follows WestJet’s announcement last week to cancel some 18,000 flights between May 5 and June 4 due to record-low passenger numbers.

Air Canada cancelled all flights to the U.S. starting Monday after Ottawa extended its border closure with the United States by 30 days, with most international flights also halted and seat capacity down more than 90 per cent.

Air Transat and Sunwing Airlines Ltd. have cancelled all trips until May 31.

The International Air Transport Association predicts global revenues will fall by US$314 billion this year, or 55 per cent from 2019.

Like other Canadian airlines, Porter is offering two-year vouchers for flights it cancelled as a result of the virus, as well as waiving change and cancellation fees.

However, Porter is not advertising refund options for the suspended trips — also in line with other carriers.

The approach stands in contrast to Porter’s tariff — a carrier’s contract with its passengers — that requires the company to offer the choice of a refund or alternative transportation to customers whose flights it has cancelled. Most Canadian airlines have comparable tariffs.

“Our policy is unchanged, offering travel credits for up to 24 months for flights cancelled due to COVID-19,” the company said in an email.

The Canadian Transportation Agency said last week that the country’s new passenger rights charter does not oblige airlines to refund customers for flights cancelled as a result of the pandemic, but reiterated customers’ right to demand a refund based on the terms of the tariff.

A Porter spokesman said some laid-off employees would come back on the payroll to receive the federal wage subsidy but would remain “inactive until there is available work.”

The company was not able to specify the number of workers who will return from layoffs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 27, 2020.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rimbey Christian School building projects nearing completion

New gym, soccer field and skating rink will be open to community use as well

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Kelowna RCMP Stock Image.
Bentley post office damaged, armed robbery at Subway

Sylvan Lake RCMP respond to incidents in Bentley last month

James Taylor of Rimbey has won $100,000 from a scratch ticket. (Photo submitted)
Rimbey winner scratches his way to $100,000 prize

James Taylor says store staff were almost more excited than he was

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council squashes mask bylaw

The bylaw did not make it past first reading, after a 4-3 vote defeated the motion

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season’s top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Curling Canada has provisional approval for Calgary’s hub-city concept from Alberta Health

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Most Read