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Saturday,  July 13, 2024 12:29 PM 

Porter Escapes vacation packages to be suspended

Porter Escapes vacation packages to be suspended
(Porter Airlines)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

Porter Airlines is suspending its Porter Escapes offering, PAX has learned.

According to a company memo sent May 9 by Edmond Eldebs, senior vice-president and chief commercial officer at Porter, the airline’s in-house vacation packages, which pairs Porter flights with hotels and attractions, have been pulled immediately.

“No new packages are being sold through this channel,” Eldebs wrote in his update to employees, which PAX has viewed.

All Porter Escapes trips currently booked for future travel, however, will be honoured, Eldebs wrote. 

The team will continue to serve customers for booked reservations up to the end of 2024.  

Porter's North American growth

The update comes as Porter continues to evolve its presence in North America with new aircraft (using the new 132-seat Embraer E195-E2, which has no middle seats), a growing network of destinations, along with new products and services.

“Our network has evolved greatly since early 2023. We are expanding into key U.S. leisure markets, which will continue, along with plans to eventually serve sun destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean,” Eldebs wrote.

Eldebs noted that Porter has yet to confirm the timing to enter these markets and suggested that Porter Escapes – or a version of it – will return at some point.

“[We] will use our energy towards building a new package offering there at the right time,” he wrote.

Created in 2012 to sell vacation packages paired exclusively with Porter flights, Porter Escapes sold a variety of flight and hotel combinations, offering a premium travel experience for good value. The packages included hotels, city tours, ski packages, car rentals and more.

Yesterday, Porter revealed that it will launch its largest-ever schedule out of Toronto this summer.

The offer is set to feature up to 176 daily flights to 27 destinations across North America taking off from two airports in Toronto.

Routes from Toronto-Pearson include destinations in the U.S. such as Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco, plus Canadian cities such as Halifax, Québec City, St. John’s, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria, Winnipeg and Saskatoon.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, meanwhileremains a convenient gateway from downtown to Porter’s Eastern Canada network and the Northeastern U.S., with up to 102 daily flights to 15 destinations.

“Porter is offering passengers a level of generous economy service they will not receive from any other carrier serving Toronto and we’re continuing to provide passengers with more choice from both of the airports that serve the Greater Toronto community,” said Kevin Jackson, president of Porter, noting that the airline will expand its number of destinations as it takes delivery of more Embraer E195 aircraft.  

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