March 8, 2012 / 4:18 PM / in 6 years

Porter Airlines profitable in 2011, CEO memo says

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s privately held Porter Airlines was profitable in 2011, according to an e-mail sent to employees by Chief Executive Robert Deluce on Thursday.

Announcing a staff profit-sharing plan in a memo obtained by Reuters, Deluce said that employees are eligible to share a pool of about C$500,000 ($505,000).

“2011 was an important turning point for the company. We believe that the foundation we have built, combined with the strength of our Porter team, is the springboard for even greater success and reward in 2012,” Deluce said.

The small regional carrier, which competes against Air Canada ACa.TO and WestJet Airlines Ltd (WJA.TO) in Eastern Canada and into the U.S. Northeast, is facing a union drive by its pilots.

Last week, Deluce told Reuters that Toronto-based Porter will announce strategic partnerships in 2012 as it seeks growth against bigger rivals.

He said the airline was last profitable in 2007, the year after it began operating from Toronto’s island airport, close to the city’s downtown business and financial center.

($1=$0.99 Canadian)

Reporting by Claire Sibonney; and Susan Taylor; editing by Rob Wilson

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