Porter Airline’s Big Gamble

The Canadian Airline Industry is flying into unprecedented skies. Yesterday Canada’s Porter Airlines took a $2 Billion CDN gamble as it placed an order for 20 new Embraer 175-E2 Jets at the Farnborough Airshow, adding to a previous order of 30. These jets will enable Porter to fly nonstop from the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal triangle anywhere in North America or the Caribbean. Suddenly there are all sorts of flight options for Canadians. 

Porter’s bold plans mean their business model will change from short hops with turboprop planes seating 50-75 passengers flying to cities within reach of Toronto Island Airport. Now Porter’s “Flying Refined” award-winning service will be provided on transcontinental jets seating up to 150 and working out of Toronto Pearson Airport. They will continue the current operation out of Toronto Billy Bishop Island airport. 

Only two years ago, Canadians had only two transcontinental airlines to choose from, Air Canada and Westjet. Now Porter is jumping into a frying pan of competition which will put them in direct competition with Air Canada, Westjet, and a flock of new low-cost carriers (LCC), Flair, Swoop, Lynx, and Jetlines. Airfares may tumble as these carriers compete for passenger dollars. 

This competition in the air may be good for the consumer, but all this competition may bring some airlines crashing to the ground? 

Intriguing times lie ahead for Canada’s flying public. In Europe, Australia, Asia, and the United States, the low-cost carrier (LCC) model has worked successfully, but are there now too many carriers for too few passengers?

Porter is hoping that their superior quality service will win them a loyal and steady clientele, who may be willing to pay just a little more for comfort and convenience. Porters’ “Flying Refined” model will be put to the test. A big gamble in Canada’s newly crowded skies.

While a teenager Tony was fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue his love of aviation and began a career began in the airline world during his days in high school and university as he grew up in Toronto. After completing University at Guelph he moved to Ottawa, following a path in urban agriculture and environmental awareness. He shared his insights for over 2 decades as he appeared on TV, and radio, as the "Plant D octor", and operating his own business in horticulture. Later he reentered the transport industry and became involved in the manufacture and marketing of sustainable fuel-saving and safety products for the truck industry. He is director of an African American art collection based in Washington D.C. Today he writes passionately about transportation, sustainability, concerns of our modern-day world, and the intrigue of the human condition.