Another airline has been added to the roster of carriers providing service between Vancouver and Toronto.
Porter Airlines celebrated the launch of its inaugural flight connecting Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Toronto on Tuesday, Feb. 7 with $1 tickets (plus taxes and fees). The offer was only available to the first 50 passengers to book the deal, however.
The airline will offer daily, non-stop flights between Toronto and Vancouver on its new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft with flight frequency increasing over time.
Prices for round-trip tickets start at $248 and mark the first time in the airline's 16-year history that it provides service to Western Canada.
“Today’s flights between Toronto Pearson and Vancouver are the first opportunity for passengers to experience what Porter is offering for the economy traveller,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, of Porter Airlines.
“It’s a level of service that is unheard of for North American airlines. It will appeal to business and leisure travellers who appreciate an elevated level of service at a reasonable price.”
The airline has also been attracting attention because of its adorable mascot: a black-and-white raccoon, aptly named Mr. Porter.
A spokesperson says the cute critter has been the brand mascot since the company's founding in 2006.
"Mr. Porter is fun, adventurous, and a seasoned traveller. His personality comes through in various ways that you'll see him represented. From a brand perspective, the emphasis on using graphics versus real scenes offers great flexibility."
YVR shared a video of a plush Mr. Porter making his way across the airport, stopping by the airport's "iconic hot spots," such as a sushi restaurant, shopping for some duty-free perfume, admiring some art, and even peering in at some colourful fish in an aquarium.
The company will continue its signature in-flight experience featuring complimentary beer and wine served in glassware, along with a selection of premium snacks. However, the new aircraft will allow passengers to access free, fast WiFi. On longer flights, they have the option of fresh meals.
There are six fares available, including two new options specifically for the PorterReserve all-inclusive economy experience. These fares are currently available for purchase, with the associated in-flight amenities starting Feb. 1.
Porter will offer a 132-seat, all-economy, two-by-two configuration. It is the only airline with no middle seats on every flight.
The E195-E2 aircraft, the one used on the new route, is the most environmentally-friendly single-aisle aircraft, at 65 per cent quieter and up to 25 per cent cleaner than previous-generation technology. It has the lowest fuel consumption per seat and per trip among 120 to 150-seat aircraft and is the quietest single-aisle jet flying today.