Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines has been threatening to leave Island airport in Toronto

It's possible that Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto could lose its most iconic airline as reports surfaced about a legal battle between Porter Airlines and Nieuport Aviation, the company that owns the terminal on the Toronto Island.

According to reports based on court filings, the dispute between the two parties escalated after Porter halted flights in March, 2020 due to COVID restrictions and the country's travel ban but Nieuport continued to charge Porter close to $200,000 a day for unused slots at the airport.

The two companies are now said to be fighting in court over at least $49 million in fees.

While Porter has previously denied it's planning to move, the airline has been rumoured to be in talks with Pearson International Airport as well as other airports in Southern Ontario to use them instead of or in addition to the one on the Toronto Island.

Court filings indicate that Porter has suggested it can't operate profitably at the Island airport due to the high fees charged by Nieuport.

According to an airline spokesperson, Porter was profitable in 2019.

Whether Porter's alleged threat to leave the island is a bluff or negotiation tactic remains to be seen, but there's no doubt losing the service they provide would be a step backward for those looking to take a flight in and out of the city as travel ramps up once restrictions loosen.

A trial is set to begin on November 29.

Lead photo by

Clement Lo

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