Porter Airlines Receives Government Funds To Pay Furloughed Employees

Porter Airlines announced yesterday that it would be accessing Canadian government COVID-19 emergency funds so that it can put its employees back on the payroll. The Canadian regional airline previously announced on March 21 that it was temporarily suspending all flights to comply with the public health response to the pandemic. The decision to stop flying came as domestic and international travel restrictions came into force.

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Porter Airlines announced in March that it was suspending flights. Photo: Abdallah via Wikipedia

With Porter no longer flying, the Toronto-based airline decided to temporarily layoff the majority of its 1,500 employees, keeping just a small group of staff to run the airline.

The CEWS scheme pays 75% of an employees wage

In the Porter press release announcing its participation in the federal government’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), company president and CEO Michael Deluce, said:

“Our team is showing outstanding dedication during a time when most are unable to work.” 

“As we look ahead to restarting flights when it is appropriate to do so, we are doing everything possible to stay connected with our people. The ability to use CEWS is one way of doing this. We appreciate the federal government’s support in this regard.”

Porter Airlines offers complimentary drinks and snacks on all its flights. Photo: BriYYZ via Wikipedia

The federal government’s CEWS scheme allows companies to pay workers 75% of their wages up to a maximum of 58,700 Canadian dollars per year. The amount available equates to $847 per week before any deductions.

“We have taken time to understand how CEWS works in practice and ensure that our team members have an option to choose what government income support program works best for them today and in the future,” added Deluce.

Porter has been paying employee health benefits

Porter has said that it intends to welcome back its employees to resume their active roles as operations restart and the airline returns to pre-crisis levels. For the time being, Porter has said that any team member who has been laid-off and now put back on the payroll should remain at home until being called to resume work.

Porter Airlines only operates Dash 8 aircraft. Photo: BriYYZ via Wikimedia

During this temporary period of inactivity, Porter has continued to pay employee health benefits and will continue to do so by accessing the Employee Assistance Program and other assistance programs.

About Porter Airlines

Based at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ), Porter operates a fleet of 29 De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 aircraft with an average age of 10.8 years, according to planespotters.net. Besides its main base in Toronto, the airline’s Canadian focus cities are Montreal, Ottawa, and Halifax.

Other destinations in the country include Quebec City, Fredericton, Moncton, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, and St. John’s and Stephenville in Newfoundland.

The boutique airline also serves New York (Newark), Washington D.C. (Dulles), Chicago (Midway), and Boston in the United States.

Porter also offers seasonal flights for Canadian golfers looking to travel to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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Porter Airline’s route map. Image: Porter Airlines

Porter appears to be making a niche for itself as a short-haul Canadian airline by offering moderately priced tickets that are easy to book. The airline only offers one class of service and includes complimentary beverages and snacks during the flight.

If you have ever flown on Porter Airlines, we would love to hear what you thought of them in the comments section.