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Flair Airlines leases seized



Commercial dispute causes “extreme and unusual” seizure of leased aircraft

Passengers travelling with Flair Airlines were “impacted” on Saturday after four of its leased aircraft were seized in Toronto, Edmonton and Waterloo, Ont., in what the company described as a “commercial dispute.”

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Passengers will receive back-up flights

The air carrier said Flair would use “additional fleet capacity” to lessen the affects on passengers, adding it did not foresee any major disruptions to its route map. Company spokesman Mike Arnot said a number of Flair flights were cancelled Saturday morning, but the company had three spare aircraft to backfill those flights. Passengers travelling in the next 72 hours will either be accommodated on Flair flights or another airline at Flair’s expense if a Flair flight isn’t available.

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Customers have options for rebooking

Customers can also rebook their own travel and receive a reimbursement within seven days.

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Airborne Capital seizes planes due to late payments

A person familiar with the matter said the payments for the affected planes were only a few days behind and the amount owed was small relative to Flair’s overall revenue. The leasing company, which Arnot confirmed was Airborne Capital, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Flair Airlines is working to provide a resolution

“Flair Airlines will continue to engage in a consensual mediation with the lessor to remedy the situation,” the statement said.

Disruption amid spring break high demand

The disruption occurred as airports and airlines prepared for a surge in passengers during spring break, which kicks off in Ontario this weekend.

Future of Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines announced in September it planned to become Canada’s third-largest domestic airline by this summer and expand its fleet to 30 aircraft by the end of 2023, serving 70 routes. The airline faced obstacles last year over whether its relationship with a Miami-based investor violated rules restricting foreign entities to no more than 49% ownership of a Canadian airline.

The dispute ended, following Flair’s moves to rejig the composition of its board to ensure at least half the directors are Canadian and to end any unique shareholder rights by the investor.

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