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Haul for Hope Plane Pull at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport raises more than $60,000 for Hope Air


Toronto (November 13, 2023) – The final count is in! The first ever Haul for Hope plane pull at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport raised $61,125 in support of Hope Air’s mission of providing families in need, from coast to coast, with the travel and accommodations needed to access medical care far from home.

While medical treatment in Canada is free, receiving medical care also comes with a high cost for those who must travel a long distance to receive care. If not for the support of Hope Air, 37 per cent of patients in Ontario would travel by bus or car four to 12 or more hours each way to reach their medical appointment, and 28 per cent would postpone or cancel their appointment. For many patients, flying is the only viable option. Hope Air flights are a vital part of accessing essential medical care.

On Saturday, September 23, Haul for Hope teams had the rare opportunity to experience Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport like they never have before, as they challenged themselves to pull a Porter Airlines De Havilland Dash 8-400 in support Hope Air patients across Canada. That morning, teams gathered for a kick off breakfast and were shuttled across the runway to the event area – Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport’s Ground Run Up Enclosure – where warm up activities, a DJ and volunteer pilots and aircraft had been set up to keep spirits flying high as teams cheered each other on.

With the downtown Toronto skyline providing a dramatic backdrop, 14 teams raced against the clock to pull a 37,000-pound Porter Airlines plane by hand. The winning teams were Infinite, Plusgrade and Nieuport Aviation – all with record pull times under 40 seconds.



“Hope Air supports thousands of travel arrangements for Canadians needing access to medical care each year, many of whom travel through Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to access care on nearby University Avenue. This, in addition to the Ornge medevac base which operates approximately 4,000 medevac flights each year to/from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, have made us very aware of how important it is to maintain these important connections. Seeing these teams pull together for such an important cause is truly inspiring.”

  • Deborah Wilson, Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs, PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.


“We are delighted with the fundraising results of our first ever Haul for Hope plane pull event held at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport this year. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has been an incredibly committed partner since 2000, having supported over 10,300 trips and 1300 patients travelling through the airport. This year, we have seen a 100% increase in demand of our services and, with the fundraising results of Haul for Hope that included teams from Nieuport, Porter and Billy Bishop, we are able to apply these funds to helping even more patients than last year”.

  • Mark Rubinstein, Chief Hope Officer at Hope Air.


“Porter is a long standing supporter of the incredible work that Hope Air does. It was great to see so many of our team members join others who came out and pulled their weight to help raise funds for this fantastic charity. It’s an honour to help Hope Air connect patients in remote communities and access much needed medical treatments.”

  • Michael Deluce, President and CEO, Porter Airlines


“We were pleased to join partners across the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport ecosystem to support Hope Air during this year’s Haul for Hope. It was a great time, but more importantly it was an important reminder that over and above the business and tourism activity that Toronto’s downtown airport facilitates, we’re playing an absolutely critical role in connecting people to life-saving medical care that they would not otherwise be able to access. Congratulations to all the teams that participated for their fundraising activities, and congratulations to Hope Air for the support it offers to the thousands of patients from across 420 communities in Canada.”

  • Neil Pakey, President and CEO, Nieuport Aviation


View a video of the event here.


About Hope Air
Hope Air is Canada’s national charity providing free travel support through flights, accommodations, meals and ground transportation for Canadians in financial need who must access medical care far from home. Since its inception in 1986, Hope Air has provided more than 170,000 travel arrangements for patients regardless of age or medical need. For people living on a low income in small and rural communities, distance and cost are very real barriers to them accessing vital medical care. Hope Air is a unique and essential part of our Canadian healthcare system. For more information, visit


About Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ)

Offering service to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., with connection opportunities to more than 80 international destinations via our airlines’ networks, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an important international gateway and a key driver to Toronto’s economy, generating more than $2.1 billion in total economic output. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport supports 4,450 jobs, including 2,080 directly associated with the airport’s operations, and facilitates healthcare for Ontarians by providing a base for medevac services connected to local hospitals.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is renowned for its unique travel experience, efficiency and customer service and has won a series of passenger-driven awards. With a focus on cleaner, greener and quieter operations, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has made significant upgrades in recent years to achieve its sustainability goals, which are reported on an annual basis. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is owned and operated by PortsToronto.

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Jessica Pellerin

Manager, Media Relations and Public Affairs


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