Porter Airlines is going to change. The airline currently only flies De Havilland Dash 8-400 turboprops out of Toronto Billy Bishop Airport, but will soon start taking delivery of the E195-E2s, which will be used to expand across Canada.

Today, the airline revealed a major update to its business plan, which it says is an exceptional new economy air travel experience that challenges what every North American airline offers. In no particular order, let's go over everything.

Porter will offer all passengers free Wi-Fi

Porter Airlines will be giving away free high speed wi-fi through its fleet. The ability to stream content will be offered by the airline. Porter will be the only airline in the world that will offer free wi-fi to all passengers.

Porter Embraer E195-E2s will have 132 seats

The Porter Airlines E195-E2 will have 132 seats. There are no middle seats on the E195-E2 which is one of the nice things about it. There will be different legroom options on the plane.

  • The first four rows of the cabin will have 16 seats featuring 36″ of pitch, which will be marketed as PorterReserve
  • There will be 20 extra legroom seats featuring 34″ of pitch, which will be marketed as PorterStretch
  • There will be 96 standard economy seats featuring 30″ of pitch, which will be marketed as PorterClassic

The first jet will be delivered in the next few weeks. Initial routes are likely to be announced this month. We are told to expect flights to the west coast, southern United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Toronto Pearson Airport will be the first to deploy the planes.

Porter Airlines has 100 Embraer E195-E2s on order

Porter will offer free beer & wine in glassware

Porter Airlines has always offered an elevated experience for economy passengers. Regardless of where you are, that applies.

Porter will offer all passengers free beer & wine

PorterReserve vs. PorterClassic fares

New fare bundles are being introduced with the introduction of Porter's E195-E2s. Porter's fares will be called PorterReserve and Porter Classic. There are differences.

Premium fares are the carrier's. Porter describes these fares as unlike anything offered today in North America, and states that they are significantly lower than business class. PorterReserve fares are included.

  • Dedicated airport check-in
  • Early boarding
  • Enhanced legroom seating
  • Fresh meals on flights of 2.5 hours or longer
  • Cocktails, in addition to the standard beer and wine that all passengers receive
  • Two free checked bags
  • The ability to change flights without a fee

Porter has two types of planes that he flies. PorterReserve will be featured in the first four rows of the E195-E2s and the first two rows of the Dash 8-400s.

PorterClassic fares are the carrier's more basic fares. Porter Classic fares are included.

  • Free beer and wine in glassware
  • On flights of 2.5 hours or greater, passengers can purchase the same fresh meals and cocktails available in PorterReseve
  • Passengers can purchase PorterStretch seats, which feature extra legroom (though to get a PorterReserve seat you need to book a PorterReserve fare)

Porter will be updating its fare types more frequently. Two new fare types will be introduced for the PorterReserve experience. There will be details at the same time as the first routes are revealed.

PorterReserve will offer fresh meals

My take on Porter Airlines’ new experience

Porter Airlines has a new in flight experience. The 2-2 layout of the E195-E2 should make it a pleasure to fly in it's own right. Porter created more branded bundles and PorterReserve sounds like it could be a good value.

Porter is definitely facing an uphill battle. Air Canada will be competing directly with the airline. Porter won't be able to compete on frequencies and the airline doesn't have a proper business class

The question is whether Porter can convince your run of the mill traveler to pay a premium for a better experience at a time when airfare is being pushed down in Canada.

Most people aren't willing to pay more for better quality when it comes to airlines, at least in economy. Did you remember American's more room throughout coach experience? The days were like that.


Porter isn't introducing a "real" business class product since this can come with a limited cost on the E195-E2 and a 25% reduction in seats.

Bottom line

Porter Airlines is going to start flying out of Toronto Pearson Airport. Free wi-fi for all passengers, beer and wine in glassware, and new branded products are some of the things we can expect from the airline.

Porter fares will either be branded as PorterReserve or PorterClassic, with the former being Porter's more premium product, and the latter being a la carte.

What do you think about these changes?