Porter Airlines returning to BTV for ski season
Governor Peter Shumlin, ski-area representatives and local officials today announced an agreement with Porter Airlines to offer service between Burlington International Airport and Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport, marking the second winter that Porter Airlines has partnered with Ski Vermont, four Vermont Ski Resorts and the state to bring Canadian tourists to Vermont. In addition, the number of flights will double to four per week this season.
It its inaugural season last year, Porter flew about 2,000 passengers to passengers, about 80 percent of whom came to Vermont to ski. The planes flew at about 60 percent capacity, leading Porter increase the flights.
"We were confident that getting service to Toronto, North America's fastest growing city, would be a big win for Vermont tourism and economic development, but this route was one of the most successful in Porter's history and here we are announcing an expansion of the service,” the Governor said. “Getting this kind of service established is tough, with a lot of moving pieces, including Customs and Border Protection. It was a terrific team effort to get this done."
At the press conference held just outside the exit gate on the airport's second floor, the governor also promised more snow than what Vermont experienced last year. With more snow, he said, will come more tourists.
Governor Shumlin was joined by Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lawrence Miller, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith and Vermont Ski Areas Association President Parker Riehle at the Burlington airport to announce the renewed partnership.
Miller said the state's involvement of $75,000 had been directed to marketing efforts, not operations, and had been very successful.
“With convenient access to so many spectacular ski hills, it’s not surprising Burlington received such a great response from our passengers in its inaugural season,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “We expect another successful year and many happy passengers eager to enjoy all of the outdoor adventure Vermont has to offer.”
Four weekly flights will be available on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Service begins on December 15.
“Canadian travelers are an important and growing part of Burlington’s economy,” said Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. “We are thrilled that, less than one year after the inaugural Porter flight to Burlington, the opportunities for our friends from Toronto to enjoy all that Burlington has to offer are now doubling.”
Special Porter Ski packages and shuttle bus service for Jay Peak Resort, Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Stowe Mountain Resort and Sugarbush Resort are available. For more information visit www.skivermont.com/flyporter.
“We are thrilled to continue and expand on the partnership between Porter and Vermont ski resorts with the upgrade to four weekly flights between Toronto and Burlington,” said Parker Riehle, Vermont Ski Areas Association President. “It’s a win-win situation for us all, and an opportunity to expand upon tourism, trade and investment between Vermont and Ontario.”
“Vermont warmly welcomes its northern neighbors and has much to offer in the realm of world-class winter recreation,” said Megan Smith, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner. “Our tourism economy also has much to gain from elevating this international relationship, and ease of entry, within a market that has a proven affinity for our brand.”
Photos: Very Top, Sarah Neith, SkiVermont, left, and Jen Butson, Vermont Tourism Department. Top, Governor Shumlin and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. Middle, Parker Riehle, SkiVermont and Governor Shumlin. Bottom, BTV second floor outside gate exit.
BTV 9.18.2012 Flight-only options are available for booking through travel agencies or www.flyporter.com.