A joint venture designed “to transform the Canadian aviation competitive landscape” has been agreed between Air Transat and regional carrier Porter Airlines.
An extension of an existing code share pact will see both airlines networks gradually combined during 2024. Air Transat serves more than 60 international destinations in 25 countries while Porter operates to 30 in Canada and the US.
The alliance is being touted as providing significant benefits to travellers from the UK and Ireland with enhanced flight options across multiple regions.
Stronger network optimisation is being promised through collaboration on scheduling and route planning, with up to 18% of Air Transat passengers forecast to connect with Porter flights.
The alliance expands services between North, Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
This will allow passengers using Air Transat’s transatlantic services from Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin to easily connect at hubs in Toronto and Montreal to its onward network and Porter’s services, including a growing coast-to-coast presence within North America.
The feeder network strategy will help accelerate expansion by both airlines in their respective markets – Canadian domestic and trans-border short- and medium-haul for Porter, and international medium- and long-haul for Air Transat.
Air Transat president and chief executive Annick Guerard said: “This historic agreement constitutes a significant step forward in executing Transat’s strategic plan and an important milestone in developing a more sustainable competitive network.
“Through this alliance, we will accelerate the expansion of our transatlantic footprint by allowing us to leverage the domestic market served by Porter, while allowing for a more efficient use of our fleet.”
Porter counterpart Michael Deluce said: “Porter is in the midst of disrupting the North American market through a significant continental expansion that will only be amplified by this alliance.
“The flow of passengers on both carriers means that Porter will be able to develop a more robust network by increasing flight frequency on key domestic and trans-border routes, and entering into new markets with less point-to-point traffic.
“As we continue receiving deliveries of up to 100 new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft (pictured), our options for deploying this fleet are even greater based on this collaboration with Air Transat.”