Connect Airlines (Bedford, MA) has confirmed it continues to work through US and Canadian regulatory processes with Philadelphia International and Chicago O'Hare to Toronto Billy Bishop City Centre remaining the startup's initial routes once it secures its air operator's certificate (AOC) from the US Department of Transport and its foreign air operator's certificate (FAOC) (Canada) from Transport Canada. The carrier's launch date has not yet been formally announced.

The company was responding to an inquiry from ch-aviation after the Summer 2023 Start of Season Report for Toronto Billy Bishop (aka Toronto Billy Bishop City Centre) published by Airport Coordination Limited (ACL) disclosed the airline was granted permission to operate to ten US cities from Toronto. These include Boston, Baltimore International, Chicago O'Hare, Philadelphia International, Nashville International, Charlotte International, New York Newark, Greenville/Spartanburg International, Milwaukee General Mitchell and Raleigh/Durham.

But Connect Airlines said it had no immediate plans for that number of routes. "Those other centres may have come from earlier discussions with ACL on what slots might be possible well down the road and potential spots for FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] proving runs," a spokesman said.

Connect Airlines is the brand name for the Part 121 scheduled operations of US charter carrier Waltzing Matilda Aviation (WZM, Bedford, MA) (WMA).

According to the ACL report, WMA has been allocated 3,386 new slots at Toronto Billy Bishop, representing 10.9% of all air traffic movements (ATMs) at the airport in the 2023 summer. This represents 250,564 seats.

In comparison, Porter Airlines (P3, Toronto Billy Bishop City Centre) has been allocated 22,564 slots, or 72% of ATMs and Air Canada (AC, Montréal Trudeau) 5,060 slots or 16.3% of ATMs at the airport.

The US DOT granted WMA d/b/a Connect Airlines a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for US interstate scheduled flights in July 2022, followed in September 2022 by a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for foreign scheduled air transport of persons, property, and mail. The carrier is still finalising the five-phase AOC process and its FAOC from Transport Canada.

Fleet-wise, the plan was to lease eight DHC-8-Q400s (seven in service and one spare) by the end of March 2023.

WMA Chief Executive Officer John Thomas has indicated "somewhere around May 2023" as the target launch date, reports Narcity, yet the spokesman said that timeline was unlikely due to the pending regulatory/start-up process.