Air Canada Toronto Island flights start May 1

Air Canada will begin service to and from the Toronto Island airport — officially known as Billy Bishop Airport — on May 1.

Air Canada will begin service to and from the Toronto Island airport — officially known as Billy Bishop Airport — on May 1, the airline announced Friday.

The airline finally reached an agreement with the company that owns the only terminal at the airport.

The effort to reach a deal was complicated by the fact that the terminal is owned by Porter Aviation Holdings, the owner of Porter Airlines — a direct competitor of Air Canada.

Until that agreement for use of the terminal was in place, the Toronto Port Authority, which runs the airport, could not finalize its operating agreement with Air Canada.

Air Canada's Toronto Island schedule will begin with up to 15 daily flights between Toronto and Montreal's Pierre Trudeau International Airport. 

Air Canada will use Bombardier Dash 8 Q-400 turboprops — the same planes Porter Airlines uses. Jets are not allowed to use the airport. Air Canada's island service will be operated by Sky Regional Airlines Inc.

Tickets will go on sale Monday.

Competition for Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines has been flying out of Billy Bishop airport for more than four years. Air Canada hasn't operated out of the island airport since 2006.   

U.S.-based Continental Airlines has also been granted slots at the island airport but has not begun flying there.

"We are very pleased that these negotiations have been successful," said Geoff Wilson, CEO of the Toronto Port Authority.

"Opening the airport to new carriers is a key element of our long-term business plan, and can only serve the best interests of the passengers who love the easy access of our downtown airport."

With files from The Canadian Press