Porter Airlines Is Flying The World’s Lightest Seats

Coinciding with its flights resuming next week, Toronto-based Porter Airlines has completed the refurbishment of its De Havilland Dash 8-400’s interiors. Part of the refurbishment process included installing the world’s lightest aircraft seat across the fleet.

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Porter Airlines has installed the world’s lightest seats on its planes. Photo: Porter Airlines

Besides the new seats, passengers soon to reboard Porter’s planes will see new carpeting, spruced-up bathrooms, new sideboards, and updated LED lighting on all aircraft.

Porter Airlines installs Expliseat’s TiSeat E2 on its aircraft

Each of Porter’s 29 Dash 8-400 aircraft now features the new TiSeat E2 from Expliseat. Paris-based, Expliseat makes light, environmentally friendly seats for a range of airlines. Porter Airlines is their latest customer. Expliseats say their seats will reduce the Dash 8-400s weight by approximately 1,000 lbs.

“The TiSeat E2 combines comfort and performance with an enhanced cabin environment,” said Kevin Jackson, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Porter Airlines.

“Passengers have come to expect a refined travel experience when they fly with us, and our refreshed, clean, modern cabin will enhance their journey when we return to the skies on September 8.”

So far, Expliseat has installed its seats on 170 aircraft worldwide. The seats are made using a combination of carbon fiber composite and titanium materials. In Porter’s case, the TiSeat E2 seat is around 50% lighter than their previous seats installed on the Dash 8-400s.

Expliseat claims the weight savings will see Porter Airlines cut its aircraft annual fuel consumption by 500,000 liters and corresponding CO2 emissions by 1,200 metric tons.

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The refurbished Porter Airlines cabin. Photo: Porter Airlines

New seats coincide with the resumption of flights at Porter Airlines

The refurbished Porter Airlines Dash 8-400s will now feature 78 seats in a 2-2 configuration. Each seat will have a standard 30″ pitch. Porter Airlines says the slim design of the new seats enhances overall legroom.

Other airlines installing seats from Expliseat include Cebu Pacific, Air Caraibes, SpiceJet and Nolinor Aviation. Airbus, De Havilland Canada, and COMAC all include Expliseat in their supplier catalogs.

In Porter’s case, the installation of the seats comes just in time for the airline’s resumption of services next Wednesday. After suspending all flights in 2020 and many false starts, a more liberal border regime between Canada and the United States finally sees Porter resume flying.

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Porter Airlines is resuming flights on September 8. Photo: Porter Airlines

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A mash-up of old and new at Porter Airlines

The all Dash 8-400 airline might be niche, scooting between its Billy Bishop hub in Toronto to destinations around Canada and the United States, but the operating model captures lots of attention.

In one sense, Porter Airlines is an old-style commuter airline. Sticking to turboprops, Porter flies people to and from Canada’s largest city. It does one thing, and it does it well. The 1268 mile range of the Dash 8-400 keeps the network tightly focused on the eastern parts of the United States and Canada.

In another sense, Porter Airlines is at the cutting edge of the modern airline industry. A single type of aircraft, a focus on fuel savings and reducing emissions – it’s a very 2021 way to run an airline.

And it is this mashup of old-school commuter-style airline and contemporary carrier that makes Porter Airlines so interesting.

While the cabin refurbishments are complete, the process of repainting Porter’s planes isn’t quite done yet. All Porter’s aircraft are also getting an exterior makeover. That process is expected to be done by October.

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