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Toronto-based Porter Airlines on Dec. 21 officially took delivery of the first two of 50 new E195-E2 aircraft from Embraer at the OEM’s headquarters in Brazil. The first delivery comes roughly one week after Transport Canada issued type certificates for the E195-E2 and the E190-E2.
Porter CEO Michael Deluce confirmed that the first planes are “ready to fly to Canada later this month.” Additionally, before the year wraps up, Embraer will deliver a further three aircraft to the airline.
Porter first announced a firm order for 30 E195-E2s in July 2021, as part of the airline’s major expansion plans. The firm order included options for an additional 50 jets. Almost exactly one year later, in July 2022, the airline announced a firm order for 20 E195-E2s, adding to its existing order for 30 of the type. This brought Porter’s order for the E195-E2 up to 100 — with 50 firm commitments and 50 purchase rights — valued at US$1.56 billion.
The airline, which is the official North American launch customer for Embraer’s E195-E2, will be operating the new fleet out of Toronto Pearson Airport. This is a first for Porter, which is currently based out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (CYTZ). The airline did acknowledge that it will maintain its headquarters at CYTZ and will continue serving the same network of regional markets from that airport.
Over the last several months, Porter has been slowly revealing the routes it will operate with its new E195-E2 fleet. Toronto to Vancouver (YVR), Ottawa (YOW), and Montreal (YUL) were the first three routes revealed. Toronto to Edmonton (YEG) was revealed shortly after, and on Dec. 20, the airline confirmed a Toronto to Halifax (YHZ) route. Noteworthy is the fact that Porter is expanding beyond its eastern routes into Western Canada.
In early November, Porter also announced plans with the Ottawa International Airport Authority (OIAA) to build a new maintenance base at YOW to support the airline’s growing fleet. Porter is in the process of building two aircraft hangars, over roughly 150,000 square feet, which are slated to be completed by the first quarter of 2024. At that time, YOW will serve as a primary maintenance base for the E195-E2.
Moreover, OIAA is constructing a new taxiway and related infrastructure to support the hangar development. Porter and OIAA are jointly investing over $65 million in the project.
As Porter welcomes its new fleet, and begins service on several new routes, the airline is also aiming to elevate its passenger service. Porter intends to continue offering complimentary beer and wine “served in glassware,” as well as “premium snacks.” Passengers will now also be able to enjoy free WiFi on the E195-E2, and “fresh meals” on longer flights.
While the E195-E2 seats between 120 and 146 passengers, Porter confirmed that it will offer a 132-seat, all-economy, two-by-two configuration — meaning no middle seats.
“The official delivery of these aircraft is the beginning of a new era for Porter,” said CEO Deluce. “The E195-E2 enables us to reach across the continent, beyond our Eastern Canada roots, while introducing a level of service for economy air travellers that no other North American airline provides.”
Porter says it will begin service with its E195-E2 aircraft from Toronto to Ottawa and Montreal on Feb. 1, 2023, with service on the remaining routes to begin later in the month.