Commuting By Plane Comes To Toronto, At A Price

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A view of Toronto's downtown core and William P. Hobby Airport. | SF photo via Getty Images

A Toronto airline that offers pricey “air taxi” services is launching a regular flight service to the Niagara Region.

Greater Toronto Airways announced Tuesday morning it’s launching flights from Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport to Niagara District Airport, in St. Catharines, on Sept. 15. Flights will take less than 15 minutes, the airline says.

One-way flights will run $85 and a return ticket starts at $159. The airline will devote three aircraft to the flight. The airline’s website states it’s also planning to launch regular flights to Collingwood, about 160 km north of Toronto, as well as to Montreal.

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati told CBC News that while the flight may be too pricey to replace the daily commute to Toronto for most, it could help people who are in a hurry to get to the city, such as for an early meeting or to avoid road delays on summer weekends.

"This is a great opportunity for those people who don't have the luxury of time and they need to be places," he said.

The airline’s CEO says he also hopes the flight will attract tourists from the city who want to tour the Niagara wine region.

“First we’re focusing on the local economy, trying to boost the connection between Toronto and Niagara Falls. We want to bring business people back and forth between Niagara Falls and Toronto,” Chris Nowrouzi told BNN.

Niagara officials had earlier tried to entice Porter Airlines to launch commuter flights to the region, evidently to no avail.

Greater Toronto Airways offers “air taxi” services in twin-engine private planes, charging up to $2000 for a flight to Muskoka cottage country or to Ottawa, and up to $4000 to New York or Washington.

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