Toronto-based Porter Airlines has signed a deal with Embraer covering a firm order for 30 E195-E2s and purchase rights on another 50 as part of a plan to establish a second base at Toronto Pearson International Airport, the airline said Monday. It also plans to fly Embraer’s biggest jets from Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax to destinations including the Canadian west coast and so-called sun destinations in the southern U.S., Mexico, and Caribbean. The airline said in a statement it would announce its initial set of new routes ahead of first aircraft deliveries in mid-2022.
Porter will maintain its base at Billy Bishop Airport off downtown Toronto to fly its existing de Havilland Dash 8-400s, it added. The island airport closed to scheduled service last spring with the onset of Covid-19, forcing Porter to suspend operations. After several attempts at a restart, PortsToronto said last week it would reopen Billy Bishop to scheduled traffic on September 8.
With the order, Porter becomes the North American launch customer for the E2. Under the terms of the deal, it retains conversion rights for the smaller E190-E2. Although the E195-E2 seats between 120 and 146 passengers, Embraer said Porter will reveal configuration plans “in due course.”
Embraer said it would include the firm order, valued at $5.82 billion, in its second-quarter backlog. Embraer first revealed the order, which it attributed to an unidentified customer, in May.
Porter’s present schedule already shows four northern U.S. destinations and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from Billy Bishop. A route map showing planned E195 routes covers another 15 southern cities in the U.S., as well as Minneapolis and Seattle.
“We are bringing Porter’s distinct style of service to dozens of new North American cities,” said Porter CEO Michael Deluce. “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.”