Toronto-based regional carrier, Porter Airlines, has revealed its new economy air travel experience that it says will elevate its economy flight experience and ‘challenge what every North American airline offers’. The enhancements form part of the airline’s strategy to grow in markets throughout North America using new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft, as well as its existing De Havilland Dash 8-400 fleet. Porter is the North American launch customer for the E195-E2,
In the new experience, Porter’s existing in-flight service, with complimentary beer and wine served in glassware, along with a selection of premium snacks, will continue. However, the introduction of the E195-E2 also brings all passengers free wi-fi access, capable of streaming content. On longer flights, the option of fresh meals made with healthy ingredients is also available.
Porter’s current 2-2 cabin seating layout is also coming to longer-haul jet travel, giving it the claim of being the only airline with no middle seats on every flight. Porter’s new E195-E2 aircraft will have a 132-seat, all-economy configuration, offering a number of legroom options. This complements its current fleet of 78-seat Dash 8-400 aircraft that will now offer passengers two legroom options.
“Porter is meaningfully investing in making economy air travel enjoyable for every passenger in ways that no one else is,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “Other airlines have been focused on taking away perks and comforts for decades, but we believe that people should actually enjoy flying as economy passengers. It is possible, as we know from having already redefined regional travel over 16 years ago. Now we’re ready to do it for a broader North American market in a way that no traditional or low-cost carrier is willing to. It’s an enhanced experience that builds on our reputation for providing an elevated level of service to every passenger at reasonable prices in a single class of service.”
Porter is introducing a new, all-inclusive economy fare called PorterReserve, which gives the perks economy travellers may want, for one reasonable price that is significantly lower than business class. The fare includes dedicated airport check-in, early boarding, enhanced legroom, fresh meals on longer flights (as well as beer, wine, cocktails and premium snacks), two checked bags and the ability to change flights without a fee. Sustainable choices have been made for the inflight meal service, with single-use plastics eliminated, replaced with biodegradable cups and cutlery, and eco-friendly packaging.
PorterReserve will be available on every Porter flight. When flying on the E195-E2, this includes the first four rows of the cabin (16 seats) and offers 36in of seat pitch. On Porter’s Dash 8-400 fleet, PorterReserve will be in the first two rows (six seats), with 32in of seat pitch.
Porter’s traditional economy experience is now referred to as PorterClassic. This fare includes free beer and wine in glassware, and a selection of premium snacks. On flights over 2.5 hours, passengers may also purchase the same individual fresh entrées and cocktails available in PorterReserve. There is also the option to select additional perks, such as extra legroom, extra baggage, and travel flexibility.
Passengers travelling with a PorterClassic fare will have 30in of seat pitch. On the E195-E2, they may also purchase one of 20 PorterStretch seats, offering a minimum of 34in of seat pitch.
When developing the PorterReserve and PorterClassic experiences, Porter conducted market research across Canada to help its teams understand what economy passengers want.
“Other airlines save their best service for a small number of passengers who can afford expensive premium fares or have special status, and the quality onboard is often still inferior,” said Kevin Jackson, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Porter Airlines. “The vast majority of people travel in economy and must tolerate an eroded experience with few, if any, amenities or services. Porter’s approach disrupts this model by showing that it is possible to respect the needs of economy travellers and make them feel valued by providing a quality, generous experience at competitive prices.”