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Porter Airlines orders up to 80 Embraer E195-E2s for expanding across North America

Canada-based Porter Airlines has announced that it will add up to 80 Embraer E195-E2s to its fleet to expand across North America. According to the airline, these aircraft will enter into service starting in the second half of 2022. The announcement comes after the airline announced that it will resume flight services across Canada from 8th September 2021, after a year of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up to 80 E195-E2s

Porter is Embraer’s North American launch customer for the E195-E2. The total aircraft order is valued at up to USD $5.82 billion at current list prices, with 30 firm commitments and options for 50 more aircraft. Porter Airlines says that these aircraft will be acquired by Porter Aircraft Leasing Corp., a sister company of the airline. The delivery of these 80 airplanes will create as many as 6,000 new jobs. Additionally, Porter Airlines also has the option to convert purchase rights to smaller E190-E2s.

Michael Deluce, President and CEO, Porter Airlines, said:

We are bringing Porter’s distinct style of service to dozens of new North American cities. We believe that now is the right time to make this investment as the pandemic resets the aviation landscape. Adding a diverse selection of popular business and leisure destinations to our network means that we are better positioned to serve the needs of many more passengers.

Flights from Toronto Pearson

For those who are familiar with Porter Airlines, you may know that Porter has historically operated flights from Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport. But the problem with this airport is that it does not allow jet aircraft to operate to/from the airport.

As a result, when Porter takes the delivery of these new regional jets, it will establish service at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. The airline notes that it will continue to operate out of Billy Bishop Airport with high-frequency regional service on turboprop aircraft. Service is confirmed to restart at Billy Bishop on 8th September 2021, following a temporary shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions. According to the carrier, Billy Bishop Airport is ‘essential to the airline’s immediate plans for re-establishing flights and developing future routes’.

On the importance of Billy Bishop Airport for the airline, Robert Deluce, Founder and Executive Chairman, Porter Airlines, said:

Our commitment to Billy Bishop Airport is not changing. Our corporate headquarters at Billy Bishop is being maintained and we will continue serving the same network of regional markets from downtown Toronto. We are moving beyond this existing footprint to welcome more travellers across North America, with an emphasis on providing the sophisticated service that only Porter delivers.

In addition to Toronto Pearson, the airline plans to operate these aircraft from Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.

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North American Expansion

The E195-E2’s range allows for the creation of a continental route network for Porter Airlines. Potential markets reach coast to coast in Canada and the United States, including sun destinations in the United States, plus Mexico and the Caribbean.

Porter currently offers seasonal and year-round flights to five destinations in the United States. These are: New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington and Myrtle Beach. However, with these new regional jets, Porter plans to expand aggressively in the United States. The airline has released a map of possible destinations which can be seen below.

Photo: Porter Airlines

About Porter’s Embraer E195-E2s

The E195-E2 accommodates between 120 and 146 passengers. The interior complements Porter’s traditional service offering, with a ‘passenger-focused design emphasizing space and comfort’. Features include aisle or window seating for every passenger, with no middle seats, plus large windows and overhead bins, and cabin mood lighting. Porter is currently finalizing its preferred configuration and additional passenger experience details, such as in-flight entertainment and onboard service.

Arjan Meijer, President and CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation, said:

With this order for up to 80 of our largest aircraft, the E2 is making a stunning North American debut. As the quietest and most fuel-efficient aircraft in the segment, the E195-E2 also delivers excellent economic performance that shines through.

According to Embraer, the E2 is the most environmentally-friendly single-aisle aircraft family, measured by sound and CO2 emissions. The E195-E2 is certified to the ‘strictest international standard’ for aircraft noise, at 65% quieter than previous generation types. Carbon emissions are nearly 10% lower per trip, with up to 25% less CO2 emissions per seat.

Canada-based aerospace companies contribute greater than 37% of the E2’s main systems. The engines are produced by Pratt & Whitney Canada in Quebec, with ‘revolutionary’ geared-turbofan technology being the most significant component of the aircraft’s incredible fuel efficiency and minimal sound profile. Additionally, Ontario-based Thales produces select avionics and Quebec-based Alta Precision the main landing gear.

Don Carty, Chairman of the board, Porter Airlines, said:

The support of our board of directors and shareholders was crucial in deciding to invest in Porter’s future. We have investors, partners, customers and team members who have been with us from day one, while others joined at different points along the way. It’s time for us to collectively build on the exceptional global reputation that we’ve built for Porter and continue our journey.

Porter says that funds for these new aircraft are being raised privately from shareholders, as well as through aircraft sale-leaseback agreements.

Meanwhile, recently, Canada-based Flair Airlines has announced that it will be launching low-cost flights to the United States later this year. It means that the US will see service from two new Canadian Airlines in less than a year if all goes according to the plan. Both the airlines will give some serious competition to Air Canada and WestJet, both of which own a significant market share on flights between the US and Canada.

For now, it remains to be seen how Porter will perform in North America with these new jets.

Featured image by Porter Airlines

What do you think of Porter’s order of Embraer E195-E2s and its aggressive expansion plans in North America? Let me know in the comments section below.

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