THUNDER BAY - Porter Airlines continues to expand its presence in Thunder Bay, which airport operators and local leaders say will have more than just airline passengers and crew soaring through the skies.
“For Porter to decide to put 18 technical, high paid jobs in Thunder Bay, is a big win, not just for the airport, but the whole community,” said Ed Schmidtke, president and chief executive officer of the Thunder Bay International Airport Authority.
Porter Airlines announced on Tuesday that it will be opening a maintenance base in Thunder Bay, which will add an additional 18 jobs to Porter’s complement of 24 crew members already working out of the city.
Robert Deluce, president and chief executive with Porter Airlines, said Thunder Bay is a significant destination for the airline and is a very busy hub.
“I think when you couple that with the fact that Thunder Bay has a really strong pool of talent and that extends from pilots and flight attendants and right to aircraft maintenance individuals,” he said. “It really is a place we thought it was worthwhile investing.”
Schmidtke added that Porter operates east of Thunder Bay all the way to Newfoundland and south along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, and it could have chosen to locate a maintenance base in any other community.
“Porter’s commitment to Thunder Bay has continued to increase,” he said. “From the day they started with three flights for the summer season only, to three year round, eventually up to seven or six flights a day.”
Porter opened a crew base in the city in January 2018 for pilot and flight attendants who now work out of Thunder Bay.
“I think it’s exciting,” said Thunder Bay Mayor, Bill Mauro. “I think we can conclude that it recognizes or certainly seems to be a long term commitment from Porter to the community of Thunder Bay. I think Porter has indicated that there may be more growth to come.”
The maintenance base will be located in a leased space from a local company and is expected to open in February.
“We have two aircraft that overnight here every night,” Deluce said. “There will be line maintenance performed on those aircraft starting sometime in February on an ongoing basis.”
“We have the opportunity to attract some really talented individuals to be part of the additional resources we need in order to properly maintain our aircraft in a growing company.”