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Porter Airlines gets $270.5M loan from feds, including $20.5M for refunds

A Porter flight takes off from the airport Wednesday July 3, 2019 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The parent company of Porter Airlines has reached an agreement with the federal government for loans valued up to $270.5 million, including $20.5 million to refund passengers for flights cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Porter Aviation Holdings Inc. says it will use the money primarily as a capital reserve during the pandemic recovery period.

Read more: Toronto’s Porter Airlines pushes back flight restart date again to June 21

The regional airline based at Toronto’s island airport is the latest carrier to access loans through the government’s Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corp.

Loans are repayable within five years with the loan to refund passengers payable over seven years.

All flights booked by Wednesday for travel as of Feb. 1, 2020, are immediately eligible for refunds. Online submissions will be accepted until Aug. 29 with refunds of the total purchase amount processed in the original form of payment.

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Customers can keep their existing travel credits and receive a 25 per cent credit bonus, depending on their method of booking. The credits are valid until Dec. 31, 2022, and are transferable.

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“All customers with pandemic-related flight cancellations now have the option of requesting a refund,” stated CEO Michael Deluce.

He said the airline will use the loan to help resume flights on July 20.

Porter has issued thousands of refunds requested by passengers to date for all flights cancelled on U.S. routes, or any domestic flight booked as of July 2020.

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