billy bishop

The Toronto island airport may be getting another new airline

After an 18-month shutdown due to the pandemic, the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is back in action and looking toward some major expansion.

Along with a new facility to preclear U.S. customs — which will mean service to new destinations — the hub may soon be home to a new airline from south of the border.

Connect Airlines plans to connect Toronto to various cities across the American Midwest and Northeast, starting with Philadelphia and Chicago.

The company quite notably has a mission to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible — difficult given the nature of the business — with zero-emissions and zero carbon technology adoption.

Though the carrier's focus is on business travellers, the additional flight options to new destinations will no doubt appeal to anyone looking for a weekend getaway to the states.

And, a future plan for a codeshare partnership between American Airlines and Connect will mean the potential for tickets to even more cities with a connection in between, whether the second leg of the flight is operated by AA or Connect domestically in the U.S.

Connect was anticipating a fall 2021 launch, but is now expecting to be operating out of island airport by early 2022, while its executives continue to meet with Mayor John Tory and city staff.

They will use turboprop planes similar to Porter's, for which Connect will serve as a competitor, though Porter is pursuing its own growth plan to offer service to new places from Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Air Canada is the only other airline that also operates out of Billy Bishop, which is known for being Porter's hub.

Lead photo by

Jason Weingardt

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