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