Lessor Seizes Four Flair Airlines Aircraft – AirlineGeeks.com

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Lessor Seizes Four Flair Airlines Aircraft

Recently, passengers at multiple airports across Canada experienced flight delays and cancellations, after Flair Airlines had four aircraft seized by their lessor for non-payment. The travel interruptions came during the busy March break travel season in Canada.

Dublin-based aircraft leasing company Airborne Capital issued lease termination notices for four aircraft, effectively grounding them and forcing the airline to cancel and delay flights. Four Boeing 737 aircraft were seized:

  • A 12.8-year-old Boeing 737-800 registered as C-FFLA was seized at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.
  • A 3.1-year-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 registered as C-FLRS was seized at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
  • A 3.3-year-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 registered as C-FLKD was seized at Region of Waterloo, Canada’s International Airport
  • A 3.4-year-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 registered as C-FLKI was seized at Edmonton, Canada’s International Airport

Another two Boeing 737s leased to Flair by Airborne Capital were not seized. The Edmonton,Canada-based airline reportedly owed approximately one million Canadian dollars ($73,000,000) to the lessor.

According to the passengers, flight cancellations and delays occurred at all three airports, with the airline initially attributing the disruptions to maintenance issues. Flair has stated that it will be using three spare aircraft to fill gaps left by the affected aircraft. The carrier has stated that it was working to rebook passengers and that passengers who chose to rebook their own travel would receive reimbursement within seven days.

Flair Airlines began operations in 2005 as Flair Air. In its early days, the airline operated cargo and charter flights for a variety of clients. In 2017, it rebranded itself as Flair Airlines and announced that it would become an ultra low-cost carrier. Since this relaunch, the airline has faced a number of challenges, including a review by the Canadian Transportation Agency over foreign control and a lawsuit with a large Canadian investor.

In September of 2022, Flair announced that it was increasing capacity by 50 percent in its summer 2023 schedule. The airline stated that in a press release that seven new aircraft would be entering service for the summer, bringing the total fleet to 27 aircraft. Prior to the recent seizure, Flair’s fleet consisted of less than 20 aircraft.

The latest troubles for Flair raise questions about the airline’s financial position and future growth plans. While passengers have been drawn to the airline due to its low fares, a series of maintenance-related cancellations in December of 2022 and the latest aircraft seizure are likely to erode consumer confidence in the airline.

In a statement, Flair has categorized the seizures as “extreme and unusual actions taken by a New York-based hedge fund.” It further noted that “the airline is aggrieved by this unprecedented action.”

Airborne Capital has declined to comment publicly on the seizures.

  • Andrew Chen

    Andrew is a lifelong lover of aviation and travel. He has flown all over the world and is fascinated by the workings of the air travel industry. As a private pilot and glider pilot who has worked with airlines, airports and other industry stakeholders, he is always excited to share his passion for aviation with others. In addition to being a writer, he also hosts Flying Smarter, an educational travel podcast that explores the complex world of air travel to help listeners become better-informed and savvier travelers.

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