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Former Virgin Executive Brings Flare to Flair

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Flair Airlines Ltd.

10:30 ET

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KELOWNA, BC, June 7, 2018 /CNW/ - Flair Airlines is delighted to announce that David M. Tait OBE has joined Canada's only operating low fare airline in the capacity of Executive Chairman.

A Canadian, David brings a wealth of unique airline experience having worked with Wardair Canada in Toronto, Laker Airways in Toronto and Miami, Virgin Atlantic Airways in New York and Air Canada in Montreal.

In 1984, with the then little-known Richard Branson, David helped craft a business plan for what would become Virgin Atlantic Airways. He then became one of the nascent airline's first employees. Starting out with a single Boeing 747, he then spent the next 18 years as Executive Vice President and a director building the airline into one of the industry's most innovative and critically acclaimed carriers.

In May of 2001, David was awarded an OBE (Officer of The Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for "Services to British Aviation in North America."

After leaving Virgin, David served as Senior Vice President, Customer Service for Air Canada. He is also a best-selling author and award-winning travel columnist.

Commenting on his appointment, David said, "Canadians have been denied the services of an independent, truly low cost, low fare carrier for way too long. With Flair, I am excited to join another airline that, like we did with Virgin, can shake up the status quo with innovative, quality, friendly air service at consistently low fares and - most importantly - get more people out of their couches and into the air."

Jim Scott, CEO, Flair Airlines stated, "We are thrilled to have David join our team. His expertise, deep industry knowledge and unique experience in successfully leveraging the advantages the little guy has in an industry dominated by relative Goliaths, will be invaluable. The only way to build the best airline in Canada is to have the best people – and David certainly falls into that category."

On June 15 Flair will more than double its present total of 90 flights per week with increased non-stop and direct connectivity throughout an expanded Canadian network that stretches from Halifax to Victoria. 

About Flair Airlines
Flair's roots as a charter airline established its commitment to achieving the highest standards of safety, reliability and top-notch customer service. In 2017 Flair transitioned to a scheduled carrier, offering consistently low fares and fun, friendly service to Canadians.

SOURCE Flair Airlines Ltd.

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Flair launches low-fare airline on WestJet's home turf

 

Updated: June 15, 2018
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Flair, a low-cost carrier, will take its inaugural Calgary flight on Friday, June 15, 2018. Postmedia Archives

Calgarians looking for an airline alternative can now jump aboard Flair Airlines when leaving YYC.

The low-cost carrier took its inaugural Calgary flight at 11:35 a.m on Friday, offering trips to Vancouver, Winnipeg and Kelowna.

Flair’s executive chairman David Tait — who help start Virgin Atlantic with billionaire Sir Richard Branson — has only been at the company’s helm for about a month, but said Flair has already has a proven track record flying out of nine other Canadian airports.

“As the little guy in the big guy’s market, you actually have a lot of advantages you can leverage … if you have the imagination to see the opportunities for innovation, which are everywhere,” Tait said.

One of those innovations will be giving autism sensitivity training to all staff to provide an accommodating airline experience for families with special needs children.

 

Calgary-based WestJet is also opening a low-fare airline option in the form of a new carrier called Swoop, which launches next week. WestJet narrowly avoided a strike after pilots cried foul over the company recruitment efforts for the low-cost carrier.

Tait said the added low cost competition will drive down fares while improving service.

“We like to see ourselves stepping into the void WestJet left behind when it decided it was going to become all things to all people … so I think they turned their back a little bit on the market they started with,” he said.

“They’re trying to get back into that with ‘you know who,’” Tait said, referring to Swoop.

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Flair Airlines Executive Chairman David Tait is shown at the launch of the new low fare airline departures in Calgary on Friday, June 15, 2018. Jim Wells/Postmedia Jim Wells / Jim Wells/Postmedia

In a statement, WestJet said the Calgary company will continue to provide “unmatched” service at YYC with “more than 150 daily departure to more than 49 destinations” compared to Flair’s three daily departures.

“Ultimately, competition is a good thing for Canadian travellers and the WestJet Airline Group looks forward to the launch of the (ultra low-cost carrier), Swoop, on June 20,” WestJet said.

Robert Sartor, president and CEO of the Calgary Airport Authority, said more low-cost options is good for businesses, including a U.S.-based low-cost airline called Frontier which started flying out of YYC a few weeks ago.

“As far as competition goes, the aviation sector is already very competitive (and) this just adds to that competition … it gives Calgarians more choice, and choice is always a good thing,” he said.

But not everything went smoothly for customers flying the friendly Flair skies for its first Calgary flight.

Dean Southern has flown on Flair out of other Canadian cities and said he was surprised and angry when told he would have to pay a $35 fee for carry on luggage, something Tait said is new to the airline.

And while the fee was waived for Southern’s trip to perform a wedding ceremony in Winnipeg, he said he will be watching to see if Flair reverses the charges in the future.

“That really is disingenuous to be adding those extra costs,” he said, adding he has always enjoyed flying with Flair in the past. “They’ve made it possible to do this instead of driving.”

With seven aircraft in its fleet, Flair already flies out of Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Vancouver among other Canadians destinations.

 

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Flair Airlines Claims a New Hometown

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News provided by

Flair Airlines Ltd.

13:00 ET


EDMONTON, June 19, 2018 /CNW/ - Flair Airlines: Flair, Canada's low-fare airline, today announced that after extensive analysis, it will build on the success of Edmonton International Airport as its Main Transfer Hub and officially establish itself as Edmonton's Hometown Airline. Flair will continue to expand its network to/from Edmonton by growing its frequency and network - both domestic and trans-border; announcing new low-fare routes in the coming weeks.  Flair will also progressively relocate its operations and executive base in Edmonton.

Flair's Executive Chairman, David Tait, commented, "Just last week Flair doubled its frequency out of Edmonton and, as one of the fastest growing cities in the country, the community and the airport are uniquely positioned to support our ongoing growth: Already, of Flair's almost 200 flights per week, 65% of them fly to/from Edmonton. We are also looking forward to tapping into Edmonton's professional talent pool, as we progressively establish our headquarters here over the coming months."

"We congratulate Flair Airlines on its success," said Tom Ruth, President and CEO of Edmonton International Airport. "Over the past year of operation, not only has Flair introduced new destinations and increased route frequencies, it has successfully expanded Edmonton into its main transfer hub for Canada.  This reflects Flair's strong confidence in the Edmonton Metro Region, and has proven this market's support for Flair's growing list of non-stops and ULCC value."

Cities from which Flair operates benefit with dramatically lower airfares as a direct consequence of the carrier's market presence.  Airports also report an increase in first-time travellers

 

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Flair Airlines Targets Toronto in New Domestic Schedule

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News provided by

Flair Airlines Ltd.

11:17 ET

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EDMONTON, Aug. 3, 2018 /CNW/ - Flair, Canada's low-fare airline, today announced its domestic service for October 28 to April 2019.  The schedule release is the precursor to Flair's southbound, winter flying which will be announced early next week. New direct routes include, daily service from Toronto to Winnipeg, with connections to Calgary and Vancouver; this is an addition to the current daily service from Toronto to Edmonton which connects to Kelowna and Vancouver.  Calgary will also have new direct, daily service to Abbotsford. 

Victoria and Halifax remain seasonal routes and, as planned, services there will conclude on October 27, 2018, with an expected return in the Spring of 2019.  After extensive analysis, Flair will withdraw service from Hamilton International Airport. 

David Tait, Flair's Executive Chairman stated, "The decision to move all of our Southern Ontario operations to Toronto was a difficult one for us. We have greatly enjoyed partnering with Hamilton airport and anticipate a return.  Flair has grown the market by single-handedly adding capacity, more destinations and bringing ultra-low fares to the region.  We now look forward to serving our loyal passengers from the Greater Toronto area from Pearson International Airport."

Flair will conclude service from Hamilton on October 27, 2018. Flights are now open for reservations on all domestic routes through the fall and winter.

 

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