Porter Brings The Party To YVR

Above: Kevin Jackson, executive VP and chief commercial officer for Porter Airlines, was all smiles as he welcomed guests to Mr. Porter’s House Party. 

Porter Airlines brought a dance vibe to the Vancouver summer last week, with a pop-up club that featured a popular DJ and lots of fashion-forward revellers.

It was a travel industry event unlike any other, and it was just one of many indicators that Porter conducts its airline business in a different way, reports Press Today’s western editor, Ted Davis.

It was called Mr. Porter’s House Party, and the spacious, modern Rocky Mountaineer rail station served as the venue for the pop-up club. Many of the young partiers were “influencers,” attracted to the invitation-only event by the promise of seeing DJ Marsh — and by the prospect of being seen in the company of Porter, new to the Vancouver market as of early February this year.

That winter startup kicked off with three flights per day between Toronto and YVR. The occasion for Mr. Porter’s House Party was that the current frequency of four round trip flights per day would increase to five per day between YYZ and YVR as of Aug. 9. These are year-round flights, not seasonal.

There were no actual announcements or company speeches to this effect during the party — another indicator that Porter does business differently. Instead, thick black curtains parted at precisely 7:00 pm to reveal a full dance club setting, which was immediately filled by the stylish guests.

Vancouver was the first Western Canada destination to be added to Porter’s network, with the YVR-YYZ route being served by the sleek Embraer E195-E2 aircraft. It was followed by Calgary (three round trips per day to YYZ) and Edmonton (two round trips per day to YYZ). Winnipeg is next, with two round trip flights per day to Toronto-Pearson as of Sept. 7, and then Victoria with one round trip flight per day to Toronto starting on Sept. 20.

Also, just over the horizon will be new Porter flights linking Vancouver to the nation’s capital of Ottawa. The YVR-YOW route will start operations on July 26 with one round trip flight per day. The Embraer E195-E2 aircraft will be used to operate on these routes.

All passengers can enjoy the airline’s signature hospitality and service, including complimentary snacks and beer and wine served in glassware. They also have access to free and fast WiFi as part of the service. The Vancouver route includes the option for fresh meals devised and developed with local supplier partners. These are all-inclusive in PorterReserve class (16 seats per flight) or available for purchase in the PorterClassic cabin.

Above: Chef Volstuben Robert presents some of Porter’s onboard offerings during the party.

Menu selection varies by flight, but examples of items available include tropical salmon poke bowls, ham and brie croissant breakfast sandwiches, soba noodle bowls and cheese and fruit trays.

Helping to illustrate these services at Mr. Porter’s House Party were display spaces set up as rooms that demonstrated aspects of the Porter flight experience. The Living Room, for example, had comfortable seating that hinted at the 2×2 single aisle seating on the Embraer E195-E2 aircraft – that is to say, no middle seats on this jet.

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