Robert J. Deluce believes, “whatever you take on, you need to be pretty passionate about it,” and he certainly inherited his parents’ love, passion, and drive for aviation. He is part of a decades-long Canadian aviation legacy that began when his parents started White River Air Services Limited in 1951. He trained at the Toronto Island Airport, obtaining his commercial pilots license in 1968 at the age 18.
In 2006, Mr. Deluce became the founder, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. With its signature “Flying Refined” branding, he helped to re-define the customer experience of air travel, earning Porter the CondÃ© Nast Traveler Top Small Airline in the World designation in 2013.
He is a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, and is recognized as one of Canada’s most knowledgeable and respected airline owners and operators. His involvement in the aviation industry includes leadership positions at White River Air Services, norOntair, Austin Airways, Air Creebec, Air Ontario, Air Manitoba, Air Alliance, and Canada 3000.
Mr. Deluce has been involved over many years with Toronto’s Covenant House, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Junior Economic Club of Canada.
“On our part, particularly with Porter, we try to support the communities that we’re providing service to. There’s always a multitude of different ways in which you can do that, but generally, we try to pick causes and endeavors that are fairly aligned with our own values, and our brand.”
His leadership has been recognized through a number of awards, including the E&Y Ontario Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, the Canadian Marketing Association Marketer of the Year, and the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Entrepreneur of the Year). He is also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his significant contribution to Canadians.