Porter Air will add an almost premium economy offering, dubbed PorterReserve, as part of its E195-E2 product launch. The offering will be one of three seating options on board the carrier’s first jets, and include other benefits in the terminal and on board as well.
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.-Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines
New to the company with the introduction of the E195-E2 jets is the PorterReserve offering. While the company says the planes will fly in a 132-seat, all economy configuration, these seats and the associated services are being marketed as a distinct offering, akin to a short-haul premium economy cabin.
Porter describes it as “all of the perks economy travelers may want for one reasonable price that is significantly lower than business class.”
PorterReserve will include increased legroom, of course. Porter will offer 36″ pitch of 2-2 seating in the first four rows on board.
The fare includes dedicated airport check-in, early boarding, two checked bags, and the ability to change flights without a fee.
And while all passengers on board will continue to receive Porter’s signature beer, wine, and premium snacks in flight, PorterReserve travelers on longer trips get an improved food and drink offering. Fresh meals will be served for trips longer than 2.5 hours, along with cocktails.
PorterClassic for economy class
Porter’s economy class cabin will be rebranded as PorterClassic. Seats will come with a default of 30″ pitch, also in the 2-2 layout. Passengers looking for additional legroom can also choose from the 20 PorterStretch seats on board, with a minimum of 34″ pitch.
The PorterClassic offering will remain a la carte for most amenities. On longer flights, for example, passengers will be able to purchase the same fresh meals and cocktails that are complimentary for PorterReserve customers. Checked baggage and fare flexibility will also be offered as ancillary upsells to PorterClassic customers.
Fast, free wifi for all
A year ago Porter announced it would fit the E2 fleet with in-flight WiFi service, powered by Viasat. The company now confirms that inflight connectivity will be free to everyone on board. This includes “full access to web surfing or streaming favorite entertainment platforms.” The carrier will not, however, add in-seat screens to its fleet.
In many markets Air Canada remains the main competition. That carrier does not (yet??) offer free wifi, at least not to everyone on board. But it does have more planes with in-seat screens to augment the entertainment experience, including its similarly sized A220s. Air Canada also recently added live television to its inflight entertainment suite.
More fare families
As part of the updated inflight offerings Porter will also be expanding its branded fares. The existing four fares will be aligned to the PorterClassic offering, with a pair of new PorterReserve fares joining when seats go on sale. That is expected later this month, as is delivery of the company’s first E195-E2 jet. Porter is the North American launch customer for Embraer’s E195-E2, providing the ability to operate throughout North America, including to the west coast, southern U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. The aircraft will initially be deployed from Toronto Pearson International Airport, with Halifax, Montreal and Ottawa also seeing new service with the E195-E2 over time.
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