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Sunday,  May 19, 2024 10:05 AM 

Inside Porter's new Embraer E195-E2 & mission to remove "pain points" from economy

  • Air
  •   01-28-2023  10:04 am
  •   Jessica Huras

Inside Porter's new Embraer E195-E2 & mission to remove "pain points" from economy
Michael Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines, greets partners and media at an exclusive preview of the airline's new Embraer E195-E2. (Jessica Huras/Pax Global Media)
Jessica Huras

“We're building on what Porter has established over the last 16 years and making it even better,” announced Michael Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines.

Porter's staff, partners as well as travel media were the first to step onboard Porter’s new Embraer E195-E2 during an exclusive preview flight Friday morning (Jan. 27). 

The aircraft is the first of “up to 100” E195-E2s the airline is set to roll out over the next few years, Deluce said. 

READ MORE: Porter relaunches VIPorter loyalty program with added benefits, perks

The launch of the E195-E2 marks a major expansion for Porter, with the airline poised to begin offering service to new destinations in Canada, the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Michael Deluce, President and CEO of Porter Airlines. (Pax Global Media/Jessica Huras)

Porter will continue to operate out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport for flights using its existing Dash 8-400 fleet, while its E195-E2s will fly out of Toronto Pearson International Airport.

“When we started flying in 2006, we set out to redefine what was expected from air travel and we built our original passenger experience around the promise of speed, convenience and, especially, service,” said Deluce, addressing event attendees.

READ MORE: "The beginning of a new era": Porter takes delivery of first Embraer E195-E2

“This time we're expanding from elevating regional air travel to elevating economy air travel across Canada and North America.”

Speaking to PAX, Deluce said the airline had been considering a number of expansion plans over the past five years. 

Media previewed Porter’s new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft on Friday (Jan. 27) ahead of its commercial launch. (Pax Global Media/Jessica Huras)

“COVID opened up certain opportunities from an aircraft and infrastructure point of view that allowed us to do a large-scale expansion,” he said.

“Certainly the demand environment with everything pent up from COVID has been pretty strong and we are very positive on it going forward." 

"Best narrow-body aircraft available"

Deluce described the E195-E2 as “the best narrow-body aircraft available,” noting that Porter is proud to be the launch customer in North America for the aircraft.

The E195-E2 features 132 seats with a 2-by-2 cabin configuration that gives passengers a choice between window and aisle seats. 

The E195-E2 will operate out of Toronto's Pearson International Airport. (Pax Global Media/Jessica Huras)

“Porter will be the only carrier that offers no middle seats to its economy customers,” said Deluce. Other stand-out cabin amenities include spacious overhead bins, power outlets at every seat, touchless lavatories and LED mood lighting.

The aircraft also has the lowest fuel consumption per seat and per trip among 120-150 seat aircraft and promises a noise footprint that’s up to 76 per cent smaller than previous-generation narrow body aircraft, according to the airline.

Two economy experiences

Porter’s debut of the E195-E2 coincides with the introduction of a new fare class

“Our economy service experience is unlike anything you'll find with other airlines,” said Deluce.

Porter’s standard economy fare has been rebranded as PorterClassic, which covers the perks customers have come to expect from the airline, including free premium snacks, as well as beer and wine. 

On E195-E2 flights, PorterClassic fares also include 30 inches of legroom and free, fast Wi-Fi. 

(The Wi-Fi was strong and consistent during the two-hour preview flight).

Service with a smile on board Porter's new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft. (Pax Global Media/Jessica Huras)

The new PorterReserve fares cover extras like dedicated early check-in, early boarding and deplaning as well as fresh meals on longer flights. 

On the E195-E2 preview flight, fresh meal choices included a choice of soba noodle bowls with edamame, tropical salmon poke with mango salsa and coronation chicken salad sandwiches served on croissants from Toronto’s Nadège Patisserie

Sides included a seven-layer Mexican bean dip and baked olive puffs.

Fresh, healthy meals will be available on long-haul E195-E2 flights – included in the PorterReserve fare or available for purchase by PorterClassic passengers. (Pax Global Media/Jessica Huras)PorterReserve passengers travelling on E195s will also enjoy 36 inches of legroom – space comparable to business class legroom on other narrow body aircraft, according to Porter; while those flying on Porter’s Dash 8-400 fleet will have 32 inches of legroom and seats in the first two rows of the aircraft.

“Economy is a segment that many people wouldn't associate with Porter and the truth is most airlines shy away from this category – either focusing all of their energies on the elite passengers or, on the other end of the spectrum, taking everything away and providing the lowest fare but charging for everything,” said Deluce.

Porter wants to redefine the economy air travel experience. (Pax Global Media/Jessica Huras)

Challenging the definition of economy 

Deluce went on to say that Porter is ready to challenge the definition of economy in response to the strong demand within the segment for an enhanced experience. 

The E195-E2 offers 30 inches of legroom for PorterClassic passengers and 36 inches for those flying in PorterReserve. (Pax Global Media/Jessica Huras)

The E195-E2s will offer service to Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary & Halifax. (Pax Global Media/Jessica Huras)

“PorterReserve will attract economy travellers who desire all the perks included at a fair price but, as well, traditional business class travellers who are open to a new concept with better quality at a better value," he said. 

“Porter is going to be embracing economy travellers,” he added, noting that this segment of the market represents 90 per cent of people who fly.

Launching Feb. 1

The E195-E2 planes will kick off service on Feb. 1 with four daily flights from Toronto Pearson (YYZ) to Ottawa (YOW) and Montreal (YUL). 

New routes will continue to roll out throughout February, with three daily flights to Vancouver (YVR) launching on Feb. 7; two daily flights to Edmonton (YEG) starting on Feb. 14; two daily flights to Calgary (YYC) beginning on Feb. 22; and two daily flights to Halifax kicking off on Feb.23.

Porter's map of "possible destinations." (Pax Global Media)

Porter is keeping the details of other new routes in the pipeline under wraps for now, but a map of
"possible destinations" distributed at the event showed a focus on the southern U.S. and Florida with possible destinations highlighted including San Francisco, Phoenix, Nashville and Orlando as well as Nassau.

“For over two decades, the entire industry has chipped away at the economy experience and today it has become very painful, stressful and, in many cases, dehumanizing for most people,” said Deluce.

“No carrier has removed the pain points for economy travellers or focused on making their experience more enjoyable and so that's exactly what we're going to do." 

“With the expansion of our fleet, we are setting out on a mission to redefine air travel once again.”


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