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Air Canada can challenge City Centre Airport

March 30, 2010, Montreal – Air Canada has won the right to challenge in Federal Court the Toronto Port Authority's allocation of take-off and landing slots at the Island Airport.


March 30, 2010
By The Canadian Press

March 30, 2010, Montreal – Air Canada has won the right
to challenge in Federal Court the Toronto Port Authority's
allocation of take-off and landing slots at the Island Airport.

The airline said the Federal Court has issued an order allowing
Air Canada to challenge, by way of an application for judicial
review, the Toronto Port Authority's allocation of available slots
at the airport.

A hearing has been set for July 6 to 8.

Air Canada alleges the Toronto Port Authority has used an
improper process to award slots.

"The TPA, a public authority, has provided a private business
interest with virtually exclusive rights to use a public facility,
conferring on Porter Airlines an anti-competitive advantage," Ben
Smith, Air Canada's chief commercial officer, said in a statement.

"As a result of the TPA's non-transparent arrangement with
Porter for all the available slots at the airport, Porter has
enjoyed an unfair monopoly on the Island business corridor."

Air Canada wants to resume service to the Island Airport
initially with 15 round trips a day to both Ottawa and Montreal and
seven a day to Newark, N.J.

Jazz, Air Canada's regional partner, had operated out of the
island airport until 2006, when it was evicted from its terminal by
a company owned by Porter founder and CEO Robert Deluce.

The Toronto Port Authority said in a release Monday night that it
is committed to implementing an open and transparent process in the
awarding of additional slots at the Billy Bishop Toronto City
Airport.

"The TPA rejects the allegations that Air Canada has made in its
fourth and latest legal action," it said.

Air Canada had 100 per cent access to the airport, which provided
27 daily round trip flights to several destinations in Ontario,
Quebec and Atlantic Canada, the Toronto Port Authority said.

"However, Jazz Air began cancelling the majority of its routes
in 2004 _ only maintaining sporadic service between Toronto and
Ottawa _ and reduced flight frequencies at the BBTCA to four flights
per day," it said. "During this time, the airline also allowed its
lease with the airport to expire."