- Porter Airlines is ordering 30 of Embraer’s E195-E2 aircraft as it expands to jet operations.
- Embraer has struggled to sell its E190-E2 family of aircraft, with less than 200 total firm orders before Porter.
- Porter can use the aircraft to fly to further destinations in Canada, the US, the Caribbean, and Central America.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Canada’s Porter Airlines is finally entering the jet age with a landmark order for 30 brand-new jet aircraft.
The Toronto-based carrier chose Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer and its newest commercial jet, the E195-E2, for the landmark expansion that will allow for longer flights throughout Canada, the US, Central America, the Caribbean, and even parts of South America.
A total of 30 aircraft are on firm order while an additional 50 are on option, with Embraer valuing the deal for all 80 aircraft at $5.82 billion.
But Porter is likely paying nowhere near that price, even if it does take all 80. Not only do airlines seldom pay list price but Embraer likely needed Porter more than Porter needed Embraer.
Take a closer look at the Embraer E195-E2.
Embraer’s latest commercial jet is the next-generation variant of the E195, an elongated version of the E190 that most will know from JetBlue Airways, Air Canada, TAP Air Portugal, and Azul Brazilian Airlines.
But unlike the high-selling E190, the E195 only yielded 172 orders in its lifespan and the E195-E2 is likely doomed to a similar fate.
The second generation of the E190 family hit the scene at a time when aircraft manufacturers began retooling existing aircraft with new engines and aerodynamic features to make them cheaper to operate for airlines.
Airbus rolled out the A320neo family…
Boeing followed the 737 Max…
And Embraer came up with the E190-E2, followed up by the E195-E2.
Both aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines that burn less fuel and make the airline more economical for airlines
Also aiding in the aircraft’s efficiency are high aspect-ratio wings and swept wingtips instead of winglets.
The formula had worked for Boeing and Airbus but a clean-slate aircraft from Canada’s Bombardier was Embraer’s direct competition, the CSeries that’s now known as the Airbus A220.
Both offered comparable seating densities but Bombardier had bested Embraer in performance capabilities, namely range.
In terms of range, the E190 offers a top range of 2,850 nautical miles while the E195 offers a slightly less 2,600 nautical mile range.
Even the largest CSeries, now Airbus A220, can fly an intercontinental range of 3,400 nautical miles. That’s enough to fly from New York to London.
Porter was sold on the A220, back when it was a Bombardier aircraft, and placed a conditional 30 aircraft order. Porter wanted to expand Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport to allow for jet operations using the plane but community groups blocked the plan.
With only 153 aircraft on order before the Porter deal, Embraer was likely making deals to keep the program alive.
Porter likely got a better rate plus a more favorable delivery timetable from Embraer. .
Current airlines flying the E195-E2 include KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Helvetic, and Azul Brazilian Airlines.
The smaller E190-E2, comparatively, only yielded a dismal 22 orders since its 2016 introduction.
Porter plans to use the aircraft to launch longer routes from Montreal and a new base at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Every major Canadian city is accessible using the aircraft, from Halifax to Vancouver.
The US West Coast is also within range of the E2, with Los Angeles and San Francisco two popular destinations for Canadians.
And all of Central America and the Caribbean are squarely in the aircraft’s range. Porter could even fly to Cartagena, Colombia if it wants to.
The opportunities in the North-Western Hemisphere are nearly endless for Porter if Canada can sustain yet another airline to compete against Air Canada and WestJet.
“The Canadian airline history book is littered with names of carriers that have attempted to be the third major Canadian airline,” Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst and cofounder of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider.
Embraer is slated to begin deliveries to Porter in the second half of 2022.