Updated: Porter confirms E195-E2 after persistent denials in May

By Scott Hamilton

July 12, 2021, © Leeham News: Canada’s Porter Airlines today announced an order for 30 Embraer E195-E2s. The move comes shortly after the Canadian government agreed to loan hundreds of millions of dollars to Porter in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Porter ceased operations shortly into the start of the pandemic in March 2020. It resumes service in September.

Embraer announced the order, from an unidentified customer, on April 23. Airfinance Journal first reported that the customer was Porter Airlines, which the company denied. LNA confirmed May 19 that the airplanes were going to Porter. Porter declined to directly comment on LNA’s confirmation.

Major Canadian, US expansion

As expected, Porter will expand from its downtown Toronto hub which can only be served by its current fleet of De Havilland Dash 8-400s—jets are prohibited at the Billy Bishop Airport. Porter will add jet service to Toronto’s main airport, Pearson, and other Canadian airports. The intent is to serve a large number of US airports.

The expansion will put Porter into direct competition with Air Canada and WestJet, the two dominant airlines in Canada.

Porter was an early customer for the Bombardier CS 100, placing an order conditioned on government approval to use the airplane at Billy Bishop. No approval was forthcoming. The order, now held by Airbus as the A220-100, is unlikely to ever be firmed up. Update: Porter’s conditional order–which was really a Letter of Intent–expired in January. Embraer since then undercut the Airbus price. Delivery positions were available from Embraer in 2022/23. Airbus’ A220 delivery slots now are well into the future. Embraer could also offer Brazilian export financing, which Airbus could not offer to a home-market carrier (Canada).


39 Comments on “Updated: Porter confirms E195-E2 after persistent denials in May

  1. EMB must have given them hella of a deal. A220 would have given them bit more pax and range.

    • The 30 195s could be delivered in 2022 and 2023. The A220 delivery positions are now way out there. This undoubtedly had influence. Also, the EMB could get export credit financing. The A220 couldn’t.

      • Hello Mr. Hamilton,

        Re: “The 30 195s could be delivered in 2022 and 2023. The A220 delivery positions are now way out there.”

        According to the Simple Flying story at the link below, Flair Airlines will be starting service in October 2021 from Toronto to the following destinations that are on the map in your post, or near destinations that are on the map.

        Fort Lauderdale
        Las Vegas

        Because Flair elected to use 737-8 whitetails to support this expansion of service, they did not have to wait until 2022 or 2023 or beyond for delivery slots. From 5-26-21 to 6-30-21 they have already taken delivery of 5 of the 13 737-8 whitetails they ordered to support this service expansion, and the remaining aircraft are all scheduled to be delivered in 2021 according to Wikipedia. If Flair and Porter end up competing on the same routes from Toronto to the US, it will be interesting to see how their fares and market shares compare. Flair is putting 189 seats on their 737-8’s according to Wikipedia. How will per seat costs compare for a 737-8 with 189 seats and an E195-E2 with however many seats Porter decides to put on them? Flair’s seating is pretty dense, if Porter uses more spacious seating, how many passengers will pay more for more space?

        “Flair’s ability to launch new routes at highly competitive prices is made possible with the airline’s order of 13 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. These jets will be more efficient than the airline’s first three aircraft, which are all 737-800NG models. However, on top of lower operating costs, we know that Flair’s incoming 737 MAXs are whitetails.

        These whitetails are almost certainly canceled orders stemming from Boeing’s prolonged 737 MAX crisis. With an oversupply of the jets at Boeing, we suspect that Flair and its leasing partner were able to scoop up these 737s at an attractive price.”


        • @AP: Don’t look at CASM in isolation. Also look at trip costs. The two go hand-in-hand.

        • The two carriers also serve different customers. Flair is a ULCC through and through. Think Frontier or Easyjet except more ‘eh’s. Those new US destinations are a way to elbow into AC Rouge/Sunwing/Transat’s Snowbird set.

          Porter serves business travellers and upper-middle-class lifestyle vacationers that find YTZ easier to access than YYZ. Presumably bottom-dollar airfares are lower on the consideration pecking order than creature comforts or an inch more legroom.

          • I understand YTZ to be Toronto Island Airport, aka Billy Bishop, which AFAIK does not allow turbofan aircraft. (A billion dollars to expand it must be unattractive to city council.)

            Porter will have to market itself effectively.
            – PW failed to market its YVR-YYC-YYZ B767 service effectively, best in the sky for simple business travel but people were too accustomed to calling AC and CP. (OTOH when WestJet started people were eager for an alternative.
            – Wardair failed to market its domestic scheduled service, despite having a well-known name from years of charter operations.

            Government loan etc. is questionable, especially if Porter morphs into something different. but ‘jefe’ Trudeau Jr. is shovelling money out – probably angling to have a premature election.

      • Also, E195-E2 can operate in shorter fields than A220-100. E195-E2 can operate at MTOW in 1250 m runways, while A220-100 requires 1500 m. This could allow future operation, with some weight compromises, in YTZ without any physical expansion IF this is allowed by local government.

          • Not really . Most viable destinations have long enough runways now.
            Midway, in Chicago, is often touted as the runway challenged airport. Only one of its 5 runways is under 1500m and even then the TWO used by air carriers ( and ILS equipped) are almost 2000m

          • And I was checking the Embraer website again, and it seems like they changed the numbers a little bit. Not too long ago, they used to publish the 1250 m figures for both Takeoff and Landing and MTOW and MLW respectively, and put a note that it was with high thrust engine. Currently, the website publishes 1305 and 1290 m respectively, but with standard engine, which is the PW1921, that has 20.000 lbf if I recall correctly. The high thrust, the PW1923 has 23.000 lbf. Seems like Embraer decided to hide the E2 numbers a little bit.

          • Hello Max,

            Re: “Not too long ago, they used to publish the 1250 m figures for both Takeoff and Landing and MTOW and MLW respectively, and put a note that it was with high thrust engine. Currently, the website publishes 1305 and 1290 m respectively, …”

            According to the footnotes at the link you gave, the 1,305 m takeoff field length that you cite is for full passengers with only enough fuel loaded for a 500 nm flight, and for MTOW the takeoff field length increases to 1,805 m. Note the asterisks and double asterisks below. The takeoff field lengths that Frank cited from Wikipedia were for MTOW.

            “Takeoff Field Length* 1,805 m / 5,922 ft
            Takeoff Field Length** 1,305 m / 4,281 ft

            *MTOW, ISA, SL – standard engine
            **TOW for 500nm, full PAX*”


          • Rio’s primary airport is GIG. SDU is only a secondary airport for Azul’s domestic flights.

          • @Robert

            Thanks for that. As usual, the devil is in the details and they do their best to obscure an apples to apples comparison.

          • Hello AP_Robert,
            Unfortunately they removed the numbers for high thrust engines for whatever the reason. The 1805 m takeoff distance is for standard engine, at 20.000 lbf thrust. The mode has a 23.000 lbf thrust version, which will provide a much better performance. Therefore, you will have to believe me. And I can assure you, that the model has this kind of performance.

          • And density altitude plays its own factor. Heat and humidity above the standard conditions changes the calcs

          • “23.000 lbf thrust version, which will provide a much better performance. ”
            That would highly likely only specified for hot and high airports or when you want full fuel loads for for very long flights. The thrust bump penalty comes with a premium in purchase and has higher or sooner maintenance costs so would be avoided unless unavoidable

          • Hello Max,

            Re: “The 1805 m takeoff distance is for standard engine, at 20.000 lbf thrust. The mode has a 23.000 lbf thrust version, which will provide a much better performance. Therefore, you will have to believe me.”

            Actually I will not have to believe you, because Embraer’s Airport Planning Manual for the E2 series has takeoff field length graphs for the E195-E2 with both the standard PW1921G engines (22,550 pounds thrust) and optional PW1923GA engines (23,815 pounds thrust).

            The following takeoff field lengths are at MTOW, for a dry, smooth, and level runway, with no wind, at sea level and ISA standard temperature, with ATTCS on and ECS off, according to manual revision 17 dated 5-8-2020.

            From figure 3.11, on page 14 of section 3, takeoff field length at MTOW for above conditions with standard PW1921G engines (22,550 lbs thrust) is approximately 1770 m.

            From figure 3.13, on page 16 of section 3, takeoff field length at MTOW for above conditions with optional PW1923GA engines (23,815 lbs thrust) is approximately 1700 m.

            According to Embraer’s manual, an increase in thrust by a factor of 23,815/22,550 = 1.056, shortens takeoff field length for MTOW and the other conditions specified above by a similar factor of approximately 1,770/1,700 = 1.041. This should not be surprising to any reader who took physics in high school; remember, Force = Mass x Acceleration, thus Acceleration = Force /Mass. For approximately the same aircraft mass we thus expect approximately 5% more thrust force to produce approximately 5% more acceleration, which is not close to being enough to shorten takeoff field length by a factor of approximately 1770/1305 = 35.6% as Max has suggested.

            See below for a link to revision 17 of Embraer’s E2 series Airport Planning Manual, dated 5-8-2020.


        • Forget government approval for jets at YTZ. The NIMBYs won the war. There is zero interest in re-considering the matter at all 3 levels of government.

  2. Flight Global reports Porter has cancelled its A220 orders.

  3. According to the Canadian Press, Porter’s CEO is looking at expansion to the west coast, southern U.S., the Caribbean and Mexico.

  4. So it looks like a stupid decision made by Canadian Federal and Municipal politicians to not allow expansion of Billy Bishop and the introduction of “Jets” has cost Canada about a Billion dollars in lost Aircraft sales and the jobs that would have gone with it.

    Had they not blocked Porter’s expansion plans in 2015, by now Porter would have had A220’s in service and today announced expansion plan from CYYZ by Porter would have involved a further order for more A220’s.

    Hopefully a day will come when Porter can fly their e195-e2’s out of Billy Bishop but how much better it would have been with the A220. With the A220’s long reach they could have offered non-stop service from CYTZ to LCY as well as west coast destinations such as YVR and LAX

    • Personally I would’ve jumped at YVR-YTZ non-stop on an A220, but alas.

      (And I say this while I have family in the Scarborough/Markham area which is an easy transit ride from YYZ.)

      • That would certainly be possible with the Airbus Two Twenty business version or a derivative configured in all business class right now.

        If the mooted standard 4000 nautical mile range for the A220-100 become a reality and it likely will maintain good take off performance the A220-100 “LR” could be a real hub buster. Certainly Toronto/New York/Boston to London/Paris/Brussels/Edinburgh/Rajvik become possible but it would be possible to use some airports much smaller used to only B737 and A320 or even DASH-8 and ATR72. Whether there is a business case for this is another matter. My feeling is some small airlines looking to grow will use this as a strategy.

    • @Kevin

      In 1983, a 50-year tripartite agreement between the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto government and the Harbour Commission, which limited noise and banned jet use for scheduled airlines, allowed airport operations to continue.

      In 2013, Porter proposed expanding the airport further and modifying the operating agreement to allow it to use Bombardier CS100 jet planes at the airport. The proposal, estimated to cost CA$1 billion in public expenditure,[8] went to PortsToronto for further study. In November 2015, after the 2015 Canadian federal election, the new government announced that it would not re-open the tripartite agreement to allow jets.[9] Ports Toronto subsequently cancelled the expansion proposal studies.

      The changes would require the agreement of the Government of Canada, the Toronto Port Authority and the City of Toronto. The TPA announced that it would await the direction of Toronto City Council on the potential expansion.[110] A new community group “NoJetsTO” was formed to collect opposition to the plan to allow jets at the airport. The City of Toronto started consultations in September 2013, both online and at “town hall” sessions, to produce a report from staff for presentation to Council. As consultations began, Porter increased its request to 200 m (660 ft) extensions at each end of the runway.[111] The Toronto Port Authority notified the City of Toronto that it was seeking an extension to the tripartite agreement beyond 2033 as a condition of the runway extension plan.[112]

    • The primary municipal objective in densely-packed downtown Toronto is to find the most appropriate transportation solutions, not to support the civil aviation industry. Since they have now built the UP Express infrastructure between Union Station and Pearson, there is already a good airport connection for downtown residents and business travellers. I don’t see a need for the waterfront condo towers to have more aircraft streaming past their windows in order to provide a boutique airport experience for business travellers and affluent vacationers.

      • Its 1 hour 34 minutes from the Metro Convention Center (near Billy Bishop) to Pearson by the pushbikes NIMBYs use. Their next project will be better bike path.

        I don’t live in Canada but I know big western cities. These are people either with protected or public housing or those that knowingly brought condominiums in front of an airport and working harbor.

        • Ayup, NIMBYs and CAVES. (Citizens Against Virtually Everything – ecologists. 😉

          Trying to control others’ property at no cost to themselves.

          A debate in Victoria BC now, where floatplanes are in and out of the busy inner harbour, safety concerns as well – that’s political. Users do well at coordinating movement, with rules and communication and enforcement, occasionally a jerk in small boat gets in trouble. (Helijet commuter flights are from Camel Point heliport on the outer harbour, S76 and S61 helos.)

      • “need for the waterfront condo towers to have more aircraft streaming past their windows”

        Every urban airport has takeoff and landing paths that go over or near someones home or school, what makes waterfront condos so special.
        The airport is already at Billy Bishop , they arent building it from scratch on some pristine conservation area. The noise issue has been met. Its really about wealth and power having a protected status and planes should only fly over or near low status suburbs ( even though the rich fly way way more frequently than those that live near the airport…they clean for and service the travellors who use that airport

        • It really does not matter.

          Its not going to change so Porter has decided to go a different direction.

  5. After buying mostly new instead of used aircraft since Ed Bastian took over from Richard Anderson as CEO in 2016, Delta has returned to the used aircraft market in a non small way according to a Delta press release dated today 7-13-21. See below for excerpts from, and a link to this press release.

    “Delta has entered into agreements to add 29 used Boeing 737-900ERs and lease seven used Airbus A350-900s as it continues to streamline and modernize its fleet. The 36 additional aircraft will improve fuel efficiency and enhance the customer experience, while supporting Delta’s fleet renewal strategy focused on simplification, scale, size and sustainability.”

    “Delta will lease the A350s through AerCap and purchase 27 of the 737-900ERs from funds managed by Castlelake, L.P., while the remaining two 737-900ERs will be financed from funds also managed by Castlelake, L.P. Both transactions are subject to closing conditions. Deliveries of the aircraft will be completed by the first quarter of 2022, and they will enter service after modifications are completed.”


    • Rather than used I think a new term is needed as the A350 are not really used and the 737-900 are going to be relatively new and lots of life left (or Delta would not make that pickup)

      What I see is Delta filling in the positions of where it decided the fleet would go long term and the 737-900 was filling a slot they wanted.

      Clearly Delta is a world of its own in the large conventional carriers just as South West is the leading LCC carrier. Both have been successful at their approach.

    • Withing its profile the E2 jets are good machines. But there is nothing they can do about scope clauses.

      The A220 is better but then you get into cost, availability and the decision you made at the time.

      While you can change its costly. Lower cost air frame and disciplined costs in other areas can offset pure SFC benefits.

  6. Regarding the short runway in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, there probably is much traffic to San Paulo (home of Embraer and other businesses) and Brasilia (capitol of Brazil).

    Perhaps mostly day commute trips, like the old shuttles on the US east coast, Transair’s Winnipeg-Churchill runs (with F-28s), and Pacific Western’s Calgary-Edmonton shuttle. Thus little baggage.

    (For edification on possibilities and changes, I note that PW’s ‘Chieften Airbus’ service included:
    – no reservation, show up we’ll take you there (though I suspect offers of dinner and hotel were common, but I was told that an airplane was brought over from the hanger on occasion, probably a DC-6 not 737s used later, though a 737 could quickly make another round trip)
    – get to the door before we close it and we’ll take you
    – ticketing onboard as needed

    Security I do not know about, perhaps sharp counter agents (recall the US stopped hijacking by mental profiling). PW had minor problems on the west coast, occasionally police had to coach a bushed logger on arrival after he made a ‘joke’ about a bomb, slapping an amorous logger was tacitly accepted I’m told. There were a couple of actual bombings in the interior of BC circa 1950s, getting rid of spouse was a common motive in the few cases in North America in that era.)

    I do not know what was done on east coast US shuttles.)

  7. And wrinkles continue in manufacturing and operations.

    Possible strike by a big union against deH Canada, Bombardier (I don’t know about the RJ operation.)
    Union wants deHC to commit to building the Dash 8 within a reasonable radius of Toronto if production is resumed. Fear may well be that owner Longview would move the operation to Calgary where it assembles Twin Otters, trains pilots, and upgrades CL415s. (Victoria BC builds chunks of airplanes.)

    AA is tinkering fuel to some airports in the US because of shortages. (That means carrying extra fuel on flights, to avoid refuelling at those airports.) Also asking pilots to conserve fuel.

    Canada’s border guards are threatening to strike, just as the border is about to open for non-essential travel northbound. That would really hurt businesses in both countries because of the amount of trade.

    Bouncing Biden is unexpectedly keeping the border closed southbound now that Canada is surpassing the US in vaccination rate. (You want logic? Whazza matter wit youse?) IMO pandering to something, whereas Trudeau Jr. is trying to get points for a premature election he is itching to call.

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