Canada’s Porter Airlines has been undergoing quite the transformation in the past couple of years. Historically the airline was based at Toronto Billy Bishop Airport, and operated De Havilland Dash 8-400 turboprops to both domestic and transborder destinations.
However, in 2021, the airline revealed that it would make major changes to its fleet and business model, and the company placed an order for Embraer E195-E2s. Well, the airline has today announced that it’s further increasing its order of jets, so let’s go over all the details.
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Porter orders up to 100 Embraer E195-E2s
Porter Airlines has now placed an order for a total of up to 100 Embraer E195-E2 aircraft — this includes 75 firm orders and 25 options. Previously the airline only had a firm order for 50 of these jets, meaning that Porter has converted 25 options into firm orders. At list prices, the deal for these planes is worth well over $7 billion USD (though airlines never pay listed prices).
For those of you not familiar with the Embraer E195-E2, this is the latest generation jet of the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer’s lineup. The E195-E2 is the largest, longest range, and most fuel efficient Embraer E-jet. Porter has equipped these planes with 132 seats, spread across three different seating options. This plane can fly up to 2,600 nautical miles, covering a vast majority of routes within North America.
Here’s how Porter Airlines CEO Michael Deluce describes this incremental order:
“At Porter, we entered a new era when we began operating the E195-E2 earlier this year. The jet is exceeding our expectations, especially in terms of fuel use, and delivering an incredible level of customer satisfaction to our passengers with a quiet, comfortable ride. These additional 25 orders enable us to continue extending our reach throughout North America, with more exciting new destinations.”
How Porter uses its Embraer E195-E2s
Porter Airlines has already taken delivery of 24 Embraer E195-E2s, so the airline has grown its fleet pretty quickly. The airline has historically flown out of Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport, which is the airport closest to the city, though jets are banned from there. So the airline is instead largely using these jets to fly out of Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, which is much larger and (for some) less convenient.
From Pearson Airport, the E195-E2 is capable of flying everywhere from Los Angeles, to Vancouver, to Miami, to St. John’s. The airline has already grown its route network quite impressively. Below are the routes that Porter currently serves out of Toronto.
Porter isn’t exclusively flying these new planes out of Toronto, though. The airline is also growing a network out of Halifax, Montreal, and Ottawa, to other markets in Canada and beyond.
I’m happy to see that Porter is seemingly doing pretty well with its Embraer E195-E2s, to the point that the airline is firming up orders for more of these planes. The whole thing seems a bit risky given how competitive Canadian aviation is, but it’s certainly great for consumers.
The Porter Embraer E195-E2 passenger experience
Porter offers a fantastic passenger experience on its Embraer E195-E2s:
- The entire cabin is in a 2-2 configuration, so there are no middle seats
- Porter offers free Wi-Fi to all passengers, as well as power outlets at all seats
- Porter offers free snacks and alcoholic drinks to all passengers, which sure is a treat
- Porter has 16 PorterReserve seats, featuring 36″ of pitch, along with priority services and fresh meals
- Porter has 20 PorterClassic Stretch seats, featuring 34″ of pitch
- Porter has 96 PorterClassic seats, featuring 30″ of pitch
Porter wanted to fly jets for a long time
It’s interesting to note that even before the 2021 announcement about Porter ordering jets, the company’s management had long been considering something like this.
Back in 2013, Porter had placed an order for 30 Bombardier CS100 aircraft (now known as the Airbus A220-100). The order had been conditional on the government changing rules to allow jets at Billy Bishop Airport, but that never ended up happening.
Why did Porter order the E195-E2 over the A220-100, though? That probably comes down to the airline being able to secure E195-E2 delivery slots much sooner, while more lead time would have been needed for the A220-100. I imagine the airline also got a great deal on these planes, as the North American launch customer.
Porter Airlines has increased its Embraer E195-E2 order to include a firm order for 75 jets, with 25 additional options. The boutique airline sure is growing, and is using these jets to expand out of Toronto Pearson Airport, as well as other markets. This is great news for Canadian consumers, and bad news for Air Canada. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this continues to unfold over time.
What do you make of Porter Airlines ordering more Embraer E195-E2s?