Fly Porter Airlines from Halifax

Upstart Porter Airlines is now flying out of Halifax to Ottawa and Montreal with connections to Toronto. Fares to Montreal appear to start at about $79, with Ottawa around $124 and Toronto starting around $114. Taxes and fees add about another $50.

Porter is flying the Bombardier Q400 turboprop: Halifax to Montreal takes 1:45, vs. 1:30 on an Air Canada jet. From the looks of it, Air Canada is matching fares at least some of the time — both Porter and Air Canada were charging the $79 one way fare for Halifax to Montreal in mid-July when I checked tonight.

Of course only Porter can boast a Tyler Brûlé-designed in-flight magazine (the first issue as a PDF).


Jevon MacDonald's picture
Jevon MacDonald on June 24, 2007 - 14:13 Permalink

Service/experience on Porter is really so much better than AC. Not only do you get treated like a human, but you get fed something too.

And even though they are turboprops, Porter’s planes are incredibly quiet.

Kevin's picture
Kevin on June 25, 2007 - 11:00 Permalink

From where does an airline trim costs when providing extremely low fares? It can’t come from fuel (small planes are not more efficient per passenger). Not very much can come from crew wages. Landing fees, insurance, and flight services are the same. It leaves me wondering about safety.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 25, 2007 - 15:20 Permalink

Check in for Air Canada:you stand at the counter for five minutes while the agent types complex codes into the computer and has a constantly puzzled look on their face.

Check in for WestJet: agent types in locator number, prints boarding pass, and you are gone in 15 seconds.

Multiply that difference across every aspect of the operation and I think you can fly safely for much less.

Jevon's picture
Jevon on June 27, 2007 - 13:23 Permalink

Kevin: The Q400 actually is far more efficient than a typical regional plane.

Instead of selling 70% of a flight to break even, Porter has to sell more like 35%, all the rest is profit.

Enviro Nut's picture
Enviro Nut on June 28, 2007 - 02:57 Permalink

They save money by not having to pay the premium charged by Pearson Airport — they fly into Toronto Island instead.

The TI option sucks for those who want parkland put in there. Then you had the whole idiocy involving replacing the ferry across the western shipping channel in the harbour with a bridge but Mr. Miller stopped that….

ohyeah's picture
ohyeah on January 24, 2009 - 02:37 Permalink

Porter is alright for an airline, but when a plane goe’s machanical they should put you on any flight to your destenation. What they have done in the past is leave you stranded untill they get one of their planes fixed. The Q400 is a very advanced plane made right here in downsview just beside Tornonto. I like the plane for its quite ride and comfort with leather seats. They should really hire some hot flight attendents though who wants to get served by some old crusty cow who can’t fit down the Ile. Over all I give them 4/5 it would be 5 if they hired some HOT chicks who are tall and trim like from the movie View From the Top….LOL :)

Ron's picture
Ron on October 20, 2010 - 15:01 Permalink

Actually, the savings have a lot to do with fuel; the Bombardier Turbo Prop is the absolute most efficient (and quietest) in it’s class, and it doesn’t use jet-fuel which is super expensive. Also, most airlines need 80+ percent of the craft to be filled to make money, whereas airlines with Bombardier’s turbo props require 30 percent occupation, depending on their fare, to make a profit. Couple this with excellent customer service and no attitude, and it’s clear why Porter is making it.