Two of Canada's airlines are spreading out to new destinations. WestJet, a large budget carrier, has added Boeing 767s that allow it to make a big splash in the trans-Atlantic trade, and Porter, a much smaller carrier, will add flights from Toronto to its first Florida destination, Melbourne, near Orlando.
WestJet is already flying 737-based routes from Atlantic Canada to Dublin and Glasgow; the 767s will allow it to add London flights from Calgary, Edmonton, St. John's, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg, challenging Air Canada with fares as low as $199 CDN each way.
Porter's flights, one a week initially, will be based at its home, Billy Bishop airport on Toronto's waterfront island, popular because it is downtown. However, jet operations are banned there, so the flights will be on Porter's 74-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprops, with seating limited to 50 to gain weight for fuel for the long-distance flight. e
Porter has proposed a runway extension for Billy Bishop that would allow use of small regional jets, such as the Bombardier CS100. Porter has several of those on order, contingent on approval of the runway extension and lifting of the jet ban, which are not yet decided.