Porter Airlines has today revealed itself as the ‘undisclosed customer’ included in Embraer’s order book from the second quarter of the year. The Canadian regional airline has placed an order for 30 E195-E2s, with purchase options for a further 50. These much larger airplanes are part of its mission to disrupt regional Canadian flying, and will lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs in the country.
North America has an E2 operator
Following weeks of speculation, it has now been confirmed that Porter Airlines is indeed the ‘undisclosed customer’ for 30 Embraer E195-E2 jets, which was originally placed back in April. The airline has placed a firm order for 30, but has also retained purchase rights for a further 50 aircraft. This could see its eventual fleet at a staggering 80 E2 jets in the future.
If Porter Airlines were to convert its purchase rights into a firm order, it could become by far the largest operator of the type. A fleet of 80 would eclipse that of Azul, the current world’s largest operator with its fleet of 51. Even just its current firm order of 30 makes it the second-largest operator of the type, and the North American launch customer of the E2 jet.
Michael Deluce, President and CEO of Porter Airlines, thinks the E2 is the perfect fit for his airline. He commented that,
“This is a defining moment in Porter’s history. Today we lay the foundation for a new and further-reaching service for our customers, delivered in true Porter style and comfort. Embraer’s E2, with its spacious cabin, quiet operations, and no middle seats, provides the refined comfortable experience upon which Porter has built its reputation for service and quality. Our customers are going to love the experience on this jet as much as we already do at Porter.”
Porter is set to operate the E2 on its network of regional routes. The airline usually flies to destinations from its home at Billy Bishop Toronto Airport to around 13 Canadian destinations and a handful of locations in the northeast of the United States. However, service has been suspended since March 2020 due to COVID, with a return to operations slated for September 8th.
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Disrupting the Canadian passenger landscape
Porter Airlines’ current fleet is composed of 29 DHC Dash 8s. These seat around 78 passengers; in comparison, the E195s seat between n 120 and 146. The final configuration of Porter’s E2s will be revealed in due course, but clearly this is an upgauge over the Dash, and the first jet-powered aircraft it has operated to date.
The airline has said today that it is set to disrupt the North American aviation landscape, and that this will result in the creation of around 6,000 jobs. Cleary, with the pandemic-induced shake-up that regional Canadian aviation has been through, Porter sees a gap in the market that it is hastening to fill.
According to CBC News, Porter announced that it would begin flying out of Toronto Pearson International Airport and will also expand its destinations throughout Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean, starting in mid-2022. Porter is also opening bases at Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.
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.”
Porter is set to get its first E195-E2 in the second half of 2022. Embraer said that the airline has maintained the option to switch to the smaller E190-E2 within the purchase rights part of the agreement, giving it the flexibility to tailor the order to suit its needs.