Porter Airlines is going Brazilian with a fleet expansion that could include as many as 80 Embraer E195-E2 airliners. Porter, which grew to its current status flying Canadian-built Q400s from its hub at Billy Bishop Airport on the Toronto waterfront, will fly the E190s from gates at Pearson International. The deal involves a commitment for 30 aircraft and options for 50. If it buys all 80 the value of the deal is $5.8 billion.
The aircraft can reach anywhere in North America and overseas but Porter is also going head to head with Air Canada and WestJet by concentrating on bread and butter routes to Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax. Porter is the first North American airline to buy the new E190s, which compete directly with Canadian and U.S.-built Airbus A220s, formerly Bombardier CSeries. Porter had originally ordered CSeries aircraft under a controversial plan to use them from its Toronto Island base but that notion was quashed by the current federal government. Porter said it will maintain operations at Billy Bishop with the Q400 fleet.