Porter Airlines Orders Up To 100 Embraer E195-E2s, Expands To Toronto Pearson Airport

Porter Airlines Orders Up To 100 Embraer E195-E2s, Expands To Toronto Pearson Airport

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Porter is a popular airline in Canada — it’s based at Toronto Billy Bishop Airport, and operates De Havilland Dash 8-400 turboprops to both domestic and transborder destinations. The airline is known for its great passenger experience, and primarily targets business travelers.

In mid-2021 Porter Airlines announced it would make major changes to its fleet and business model. The airline placed a firm order for 30 Embraer E195-E2s. The airline has today announced a firm order for a further 20 jets, meaning Porter now has firm orders for 50 jets. Let’s go over all the details, as Porter obviously means business.

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 50 firm orders and 50 options, with deliveries expected to begin in the second half of 2022 (meaning in the coming months). At list prices, this deal could be worth well over $7 billion USD.

The order has technically been placed by Porter Aircraft Leasing Corp, a sister company of Porter Airlines. The order also includes the ability to convert purchase rights into smaller E190-E2 aircraft, to provide opportunities to fly nonstop in markets where there previously wasn’t sufficient demand. If the airline takes delivery of up to 100 Embraer jets, this could create as many as 6,000 new jobs.

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. The plane can seat 120-146 people (depending on the configuration), and can fly up to 2,600 nautical miles.

As Porter Airlines CEO Michael Deluce describes this order:

“Embraer has a proven aircraft, representing the best of environmental efficiency, operating performance and passenger comfort. We are in final preparations to introduce the E195-E2 to North America, joining other global airlines already benefiting from its use. The aircraft will become core to our fleet, as Porter reshapes passenger expectations for air travel in same way we did over 15 years ago. Announcements are forthcoming that will detail our initial routes, in-flight product and other details.”

Rendering of Porter Embraer E195-E2

Porter will expand to Toronto Pearson Airport

If you’ve flown Porter before, you may be thinking “Billy Bishop Airport is convenient, and soon I can fly Porter out of there on a nicer plane!” Not so fast, unfortunately, as the government doesn’t allow jets to operate out of Toronto’s city airport.

Instead Porter Airlines will be expanding to Toronto 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.

Potential Porter Airlines destinations with the Embraer E195-E2

While more competition out of Toronto Pearson is good for consumers, this still seems risky:

  • Porter is known for offering a great passenger experience, though ultimately the biggest selling point of the airline is the convenient service it operates out of Billy Bishop Airport
  • Porter will be at a significant disadvantage compared to Air Canada at Pearson Airport in terms of route network, frequency, etc.
  • Even if Porter configures E195-E2s comfortably, the airline can’t compete with the wide bodies that Air Canada schedules on transcon flights
Porter Embraer E195-E2 cabin rendering
Porter Embraer E195-E2 cabin rendering

Porter won’t exclusively be flying these new planes out of Toronto, though. The airline also has plans to operate routes out of Halifax, Montreal, and Ottawa, to other markets in Canada. Exact routes should be announced fairly soon, as we’re potentially months from Porter’s first jet entering service.

Porter’s planned Embraer E195-E2 bases

This isn’t totally out of left field

On the surface, many were caught off guard when Porter announced in 2021 that it would start taking delivery of jets. However, even prior to that, Porter management had been considering acquiring jets for years.

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.

In 2013 Porter Airlines conditionally ordered the CS100

Clearly Porter still sees value in flying jets, even if the model is different than hoped for back in 2013.

Why would 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 be needed for the A220-100. I imagine the airline also got a great deal on these jets, as the North American launch customer.

Bottom line

Porter Airlines has increased its Embraer E195-E2 order to include up to 100 jets, with 50 of those being firm orders. The boutique Toronto-based airline will use these planes to not only launch operations out of Toronto Pearson Airport, but also out of Halifax, Montreal, and Ottawa.

This is great news for Canadian consumers, and bad news for Air Canada. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this unfolds. This all gets even more interesting when you consider that Connect Airlines is a new carrier that essentially intends to replicate Porter’s existing business model at Billy Bishop Airport.

What do you make of Porter Airlines ordering Embraer E195-E2s, and planning significant expansion?

Conversations (13)
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  1. Sabre Mechanic Guest

    The comment about Trudeau is nonsense. Toronto has a massive downtown population by North American standards and was never going to support jets at the island due to noise. The federal government was only the messenger. This was also why jets were not allowed when Harper was PM. It will never happen, at least until jets go electric and greatly reduce their noise footprint.

    As for Bombardier, they bungled their entire air business just as...

    The comment about Trudeau is nonsense. Toronto has a massive downtown population by North American standards and was never going to support jets at the island due to noise. The federal government was only the messenger. This was also why jets were not allowed when Harper was PM. It will never happen, at least until jets go electric and greatly reduce their noise footprint.

    As for Bombardier, they bungled their entire air business just as they did their train business and recreational vehicle business. A true disaster of a company, nothing to do with Trudeau.

  2. Azamaraal Diamond

    This exposes the stupidity of the current PM Trudeau, Bombardier had Porter as the launch carrier for the C-100 and all the government had to do was to provide a small loan guarantee (for $100 M) and permission to fly out of Billy Bishop.

    Instead of supporting a great aircraft that is now world leader this stupidity forced Bombardier to sell the C Series (100/300) to Airbus who are laughing all the way to the...

    This exposes the stupidity of the current PM Trudeau, Bombardier had Porter as the launch carrier for the C-100 and all the government had to do was to provide a small loan guarantee (for $100 M) and permission to fly out of Billy Bishop.

    Instead of supporting a great aircraft that is now world leader this stupidity forced Bombardier to sell the C Series (100/300) to Airbus who are laughing all the way to the bank. Our Liberal leader doesn't seem to want to support Canadian innovation and technology unless it is fantasy renewable energy.

  3. D3kingg Guest

    People want to fly into Billy Bishop from NY that’s the whole point.

  4. Super VC10 Guest

    The map has Halifax spelled 'Hallifax'.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @VC10

      Halifax Mooseheads

  5. Bobby J Guest

    If I were American Airlines, I would be doing everything in my power to woo Porter into either OneWorld or a one-off partnership. Just sayin'...

  6. Tim Dunn Diamond

    This is big on many levels.
    Having an eastern Canada based competitor to Air Canada is very significant; while AC has managed to eliminate any competitor, Canadians are paying a price for the limited competition compared to the US and service isn't great. Cranky Flier has an article today highlighting how bad cancellation and on-time (or not) rates are in Canada.

    Expanding beyond Billy Bishop airport was a given because of the reduced business...

    This is big on many levels.
    Having an eastern Canada based competitor to Air Canada is very significant; while AC has managed to eliminate any competitor, Canadians are paying a price for the limited competition compared to the US and service isn't great. Cranky Flier has an article today highlighting how bad cancellation and on-time (or not) rates are in Canada.

    Expanding beyond Billy Bishop airport was a given because of the reduced business traffic. Porter has to figure out how to market its product to the whole country but they will figure it out.

    As for the E195 E2, this deal is a lifeline for Embraer which has had very little success in selling the E2 family. The A220 just doesn't have the capacity to deliver a large order and is likely commanding prices for new orders much higher than the Ejets.

  7. Ralph4878 Guest

    Sure, AC is dominant at YYZ...but Porter's staff and soft product have a serious following, and for good reason - they are a fun airline to fly. Try finding someone to claim that about AC ;). Billy Bishop is convenient, to be sure, but having just spent 8 months in Toronto for work, I wouldn't say that YYZ is so that out there or inconvenient...the train from Union Station is quick, reliable, clean, and cheap....

    Sure, AC is dominant at YYZ...but Porter's staff and soft product have a serious following, and for good reason - they are a fun airline to fly. Try finding someone to claim that about AC ;). Billy Bishop is convenient, to be sure, but having just spent 8 months in Toronto for work, I wouldn't say that YYZ is so that out there or inconvenient...the train from Union Station is quick, reliable, clean, and cheap. I found getting in and out of YYZ far easier than many other large, international hubs.

    1. Sabre Mechanic Guest

      Yes, you have to remember that when Porter started there was no Union-Pearson Express. That has clearly changed matters somewhat. However, I also prefer that the island does NOT have preclearance, so for US flights you don't need to be there much in advance, just pop over and go. (One of the few airports in North America you can just WALK to.)

  8. JBB Guest

    Additional competition in the Canadian national airline market is much needed but it's also a graveyard for smaller carriers who couldn't make a go of it. Even Westjet had to recently announce it was refocusing future investment back to Western Canada because it was difficult to compete with Air Canada's dominance in the East especially in the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto triangle. Still, hopefully Porter can make a strong go of it. Will Porter be the JetBlue of Canada?

  9. Andrew Guest

    I'm still not sure which market segment they're going for. If they're looking at business travelers, YYZ and YUL already have the robust Air Canada network and schedule. On the ULCC end, there's plenty of competition from Flair, Swoop and Lynx in YYZ, YUL, and YHZ (to an extent). They might have a chance getting business in the YOW or YHZ markets where there's lower frequencies of non-stop travel, but to me it's a pretty...

    I'm still not sure which market segment they're going for. If they're looking at business travelers, YYZ and YUL already have the robust Air Canada network and schedule. On the ULCC end, there's plenty of competition from Flair, Swoop and Lynx in YYZ, YUL, and YHZ (to an extent). They might have a chance getting business in the YOW or YHZ markets where there's lower frequencies of non-stop travel, but to me it's a pretty tight market in Canada. Maybe on nonstop service to / from US cities?

    1. DenB Diamond

      They're going for route dominance from YTZ and they're going for non-loyalty travellers (there's a lot of them) who are impressed by a free coffee in a corral they call a "lounge". If that makes me look less than a Porter fanboy... I guess I can live with that.

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Sabre Mechanic Guest

The comment about Trudeau is nonsense. Toronto has a massive downtown population by North American standards and was never going to support jets at the island due to noise. The federal government was only the messenger. This was also why jets were not allowed when Harper was PM. It will never happen, at least until jets go electric and greatly reduce their noise footprint. As for Bombardier, they bungled their entire air business just as they did their train business and recreational vehicle business. A true disaster of a company, nothing to do with Trudeau.

1
Bobby J Guest

If I were American Airlines, I would be doing everything in my power to woo Porter into either OneWorld or a one-off partnership. Just sayin'...

1
Sabre Mechanic Guest

Yes, you have to remember that when Porter started there was no Union-Pearson Express. That has clearly changed matters somewhat. However, I also prefer that the island does NOT have preclearance, so for US flights you don't need to be there much in advance, just pop over and go. (One of the few airports in North America you can just WALK to.)

0
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