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The Canadian Press
The Edmonton-based airline announced Thursday it will launch service from Canada to six U.S. vacation destinations on Oct. 31. The new destinations are Fort Lauderdale; Orlando; Phoenix; Hollywood-Burbank, Calif.; Palm Springs, Calif.; and Las Vegas.
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The Flair Airlines Fleet In 2021

With Flair’s rapid expansion over the past year, the airline will need to ensure it has sufficient aircraft to fulfill its scheduling commitments. When the airline began 2021, it had three- yes, just three- Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Its fleet has now grown to have eight 737s, with more on the way. Let’s take a look at the Flair Airlines fleet in 2021.
Flair announced its order for 13 737 MAX 8 aircraft in late January 2021. Photo: Flair Airlines

Starting with just three 737-800s

Flair Airlines began the year with just three Boeing 737-800s. These jets were acquired on the second-hand market, flying with Flair since mid-2019. Collectively, these have an average age of just under 11 years. Registered C-FFLA, C-FFLC, and C-FFLJ, these older jets have flown with airlines such as Air China, Germany’s Air Berlin, and Thailand’s Siam Air. Simple Flying had an opportunity to fly onboard one of these jets, writing a review of the experience here.

 

January 2021: A major acquisition

Then, at the start of 2021, Flair announced that it was taking on 13 737 MAX 8s from Boeing. These jets are coming to the airline through a lease agreement with a company called 777 Partners, an investment firm based in Miami with 25% ownership of Flair Airlines. As we had noted previously, 777 Partners had themselves recently signed off on purchasing 24 new MAX 8s directly from Boeing, with the option for a further 60 planes.

 

Commenting on the milestone order, Stephen Jones, President & CEO of Flair Airlines, said,

“Our efficient new aircraft will provide us the foundation to execute our ULCC business model. These planes will enable us to keep fares low while expanding our service to meet travel demand.”

The aircraft will be acquired on lease from 777 Partners, an investment firm based in Miami with 25% ownership of Flair Airlines. Photo: Flair Airlines

On May 29th, Flair took delivery of the first of these MAX jets. Planespotters.net data showed that the nearly two-year-old aircraft held three prior test registrations (N1786B, N1799B, N1782B, N57001) before taking its current Canadian letters.

Since late May, Flair has taken delivery of four more MAX 8s with a plan to take delivery of three more MAX 8s in the next few weeks. While this will push the airline’s total fleet size to 11, the airline’s January announcement to take 13 MAXs means it will have an initial fleet size of 16.

 

Ultimately, however, the airline has a goal of 50 aircraft within its first five years of operation. A goal which it has ‘codenamed’ “F50.” The carrier is likely to keep quite close to the low-cost-carrier playbook, ordering more of the same type to reduce training and operational costs associated with fleet diversification.

Whitetail 737s

While somewhat ‘brand new,’ without any previous owners, Flair’s newest jets are around one-and-a-half to two years of age. This would indicate that the aircraft are so-called ‘whitetails.’ These are aircraft originally built for another customer but canceled at some point along the way.

 

The age of these aircraft would indicate that they were canceled due to the 737 MAX crisis, which stretched from March 2019 to early 2021.

With the MAX recertified by the FAA and Transport Canada, Flair is confident of the type’s safety. We would imagine that the leasing company acquiring the jets likely purchased them at a great price due to the MAX controversy and was thus able to pass those savings on to Flair.

While Flair’s fleet is certainly quite uniform (fitting with most budget airlines), its expansion in 2021 and anticipated growth over the next few years will certainly be exciting to watch.

 

Have you flown with Flair yet? Let us know in the comments.

 
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Shareholder takes aim at Flair airline’s expansion plan

From Business in Vancouver – link to source story

Flair shareholder claims company’s plans rammed through without approval, potentially putting operating licence at risk

July 9, 2021

flair-airlines.jpg?h=1ae79910&itok=2Q8h0

Submitted

A shareholder in Flair Airlines Ltd. is taking the low-cost carrier to court, claiming it’s wrongfully withholding key information about a significant expansion of the company’s fleet of aircraft announced in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prescott Strategic Investments LP by its general partner Prescott Strategic Investments Ltd. filed a petition in BC Supreme Court on June 18, naming Flair and Florida-based 777 Partners LLC, a “significant creditor” of the aviation firm, as respondents. Prescott, run by Canadian aviation industry veterans Jim Scott and Jerry Presley, claims in the court filing that the dispute was spurred by Flair’s management deciding to “aggressively expand its operations during a global pandemic” by signing leases on 13 new Boeing 737-8 airplanes with a subsidiary controlled by 777 Partners, also a Flair shareholder. 

According to the petition, Flair’s fleet of three Boeing 737s was mostly grounded from September 2020 to April 2021, with the airline using only one for its Vancouver-Edmonton-Toronto route and its Vancouver-Calgary-Toronto route during that time. Prescott owns just under 68% of the airline’s voting shares, and had taken over the company’s management in 2018.

“Shortly after taking over management of Flair, Prescott’s partners became aware that Flair required an immediate infusion of funds in order to pay down a line of credit,” the petition states, a situation which saw 777 Partners sign on as an investor after being approached by Flair. The airline currently owes 777 Partners $140 million, most of which is at an 18% interest rate.

Prescott claims that the COVID-19 outbreak saw Canadian air travel drop by around 90% of pre-pandemic passenger numbers, causing other airlines such as WestJet (TSX:WJA) and Air Canada (TSX:AC) to scale back or halt expansion plans including cancelling orders for their new Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737-8s.

But Flair went the opposite way, announcing in January 2021 that it was leasing more than a dozen new planes for new routes at five Canadian airports, an announcement that “caused serious concerns for Prescott.” Flair hadn’t sought shareholder approval as required for the leases and expansion plans, Prescott claims.

“Because Flair had already begun selling tickets connected to the expanded services, Flair’s position was entrenched and any after-the-fact vote by shareholders would be futile,” the petition states.

Moreover, the company didn’t get approval for the leases from the Canadian Transportation Agency, raising “significant concern” about whether the leases would put the company under control of 777 Partners, which could lead to a finding that it wasn’t “controlled in fact” by Canadians as required by the Canada Transportation Act. Such a finding could strip the aviation firm of its licence to operate in Canada, Prescott claims. Meanwhile, directors of 777 Partners have allegedly threatened to call in Flair’s debt and put it into receivership if it doesn’t proceed with the leases and expansion plans, which Prescott claims are not in Flair’s best interest.

The petition seeks declarations that Flair’s affairs are “being conducted in a manner that is oppressive” to Prescott, and an order for Flair and 777 Partners to buy Prescott’s shares for $0.85 per share.

The petition’s factual basis has not been tested in court, and Flair and 777 Partners had not filed responses by press time.

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1 hour ago, CanadaEH said:

18%!?!?


That has got to be a typo but if true then you have to sell a lot of low cost seats just to pay the interest. However the aircraft will be leases so I am not sure, and we will likely never know, at what rate or indeed the 140million debt in the article is based on.   Up front or ????

As far a leasing approval, here is the section Chapter 5 - A Canadian Air Operator that Leases an Aircraft Registered in a Foreign State (canada.ca)

Note that it applies to those Registered in a Foreign State so perhaps the aircraft will be registered in Canada. hmmmm  

Quote

The number of foreign aircraft leased by a Canadian air operator must not exceed more than 25 percent of the Canadian aircraft registered in its name, rounded to the next higher whole number, as follows:

 

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Believe it or not that kind of predatory financing does occur in the industry. Unfortunately it’s sometimes part of a corporate raiding scheme to suck as much money out of the company as possible - potentially leading to said company’s ultimate demise. Reading through the bankruptcy filings for one of my former employers made for interesting reading. It was a classic corporate raid. The buyer had no intention of owning an airline. His only goal was maximizing his own profits by “loaning” his own money to his company at similarly usurious rates. The day he bought the airline was the day it’s fate was sealed. I hope for the sake of everyone at Flair that this isn’t a similar situation.

Edited by J.O.
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16 hours ago, J.O. said:

Believe it or not that kind of predatory financing does occur in the industry. Unfortunately it’s sometimes part of a corporate raiding scheme to suck as much money out of the company as possible - potentially leading to said company’s ultimate demise. Reading through the bankruptcy filings for one of my former employers made for interesting reading. It was a classic corporate raid. The buyer had no intention of owning an airline. His only goal was maximizing his own profits by “loaning” his own money to his company at similarly usurious rates. The day he bought the airline was the day it’s fate was sealed. I hope for the sake of everyone at Flair that this isn’t a similar situation.

That’s exactly what it looks like in this scenario. ?

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Order No. 2021-A-17

July 8, 2021
 

APPLICATION by Flair Airlines Ltd. Carrying on business as Flair Air (applicant) for an exemption from the application of section 59 of the Canada Transportation Act, SC 1996, c 10 (CTA).

 
Case number: 
21-05593
 

BACKGROUND

The applicant has applied to the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) for an exemption from the application of section 59, pursuant to section 80 of the CTA, to permit it to sell, cause to be sold or publicly offer for sale in Canada in the absence of a licence.

Section 59 of the CTA states that no person shall sell, cause to be sold or publicly offer for sale in Canada an air service unless, if required under Part II of the CTA, a person holds a licence issued under that Part in respect of that service and that licence is not suspended.

The applicant has applied to the Agency for a licence to operate an international air service on a scheduled basis between Canada and Mexico.
The applicant intends to commence operations in November 2021.

ANALYSIS

The Agency deals with applications for exemptions from the application of section 59 of the CTA on a case-by-case basis. Section 59 is a consumer protection measure intended to prevent situations in which consumers in Canada pay for a service to an entity that does not hold an Agency licence and are left out of pocket or experience any manner of inconvenience or hardship that may result if that entity does not commence operations on schedule.

Accordingly, the Agency, prior to granting an exemption from the application of section 59 of the CTA, considers whether the applicant is taking all the necessary steps to meet all licence issuance requirements and whether the applicant has demonstrated a high probability of obtaining the required licence prior to the proposed date for commencing operations.

In particular, an applicant for a licence must establish that it:

  1. has been designated by the Minister of Transport as eligible to hold an international scheduled licence;
  2. meets the prescribed financial requirements;
  3. has the prescribed liability insurance coverage in respect of the service to be provided under the licence; and
  4. holds a Canadian aviation document (CAD) issued by Transport Canada, which includes the service to be provided under the licence.

In this case:

  1. the applicant has not yet been designated by the Minister of Transport as eligible to hold a licence for proposed service;
  2. the applicant already meets the prescribed financial requirements as it already holds licences to operate large aircraft;
  3. the applicant has the prescribed liability insurance coverage in respect of the proposed service; and
  4. the Agency has considered the steps that the applicant has taken to obtain a revised CAD from Transport Canada, and is satisfied that the CAD will likely be issued in time for the Agency to issue a licence before the proposed operational start-up date (November 2021).

Pursuant to section 28 of the CTA, the Agency may "in any order direct that the order or a portion or provision of it shall come into force (a) at a future time, (b) on the happening of any contingency, event or condition specified in the order, or (c) on the performance, to the satisfaction of the Agency or a person named by it, of any terms that the Agency may impose on an interested party, and the Agency may direct that the whole or any portion of the order shall have force for a limited time or until the happening of a specified event."

In the present circumstances, considering the intent of section 59 of the CTA and the fact that the applicant is taking all the necessary steps to meet all licensing issuance requirements, the Agency, pursuant to paragraph 80(1)(c) of the CTA, exempts the applicant from the application of section 59 of the CTA, effective once it has been designated by the Minister of Transport as eligible to hold an international scheduled licence for the proposed service and until such time as a decision is made to either issue or not issue a licence, permitting it to sell, cause to be sold or publicly offer for sale in Canada, a scheduled international service, large aircraft, between Canada and Mexico, without holding the required licence, subject to the following conditions:

  1. All advertising in any media, whether written, electronic or telecommunications, shall include a statement that the air service is subject to the Agency's approval, and all prospective passengers shall be informed, before a reservation is made or a ticket is issued, that the air service is subject to the Agency's approval;
  2. Should the licence not be issued or not be issued by the time an air service sold to a passenger or client is to be used, the applicant shall arrange to provide alternative air transportation by an appropriately licensed air carrier, at no additional cost, for all passengers or clients who have made reservations or contractual arrangements with the applicant. If such arrangements are not possible or acceptable to the passenger or client, the applicant shall arrange to provide a full refund of all monies paid by the passenger or client.

For clarification, this exemption from the application of section 59 of the CTA does not relieve the applicant from the requirement to hold a licence in respect of the service to be provided, and, accordingly, no flights shall be operated until the appropriate licence authority has been granted.

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2 hours ago, Kargokings said:

If such arrangements are not possible or acceptable to the passenger or client, the applicant shall arrange to provide a full refund of all monies paid by the passenger or client.

Think language should be stronger with respect to a specific time limit to provide refund, say 60/90 days from date of request to avoid the 18 months and 'we're working on it' scenario.

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Flair Airlines’ phone lines closed until Monday

From Flair Airlines website

cropped-flair_air_logo_white2.png?w=1024

travel advisory:

We are currently receiving a large volume of customer service requests and our phone line is closed. Please reach out to the customer service team using the form on our Contact Us page or at support@flyflair.com and include your booking number, contact information and details of your request or issue.

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Interesting, I was talking to a friend of mine a couple of days ago that is involved with Flair. They have three Max-8's now with five more coming next month. To say they are a bit overwhelmed is probably an understatement...

Edited by Maverick
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49 minutes ago, Maverick said:

Interesting, I was talking to a friend of mine a couple of days ago that is involved with Flair. They have three Max-8's now with five more coming next month. To say they are a bit overwhelmed is probably an understatement...

And when you couple their newly announced schedule for flights in the US with the border planned to reopen in mid August coupled with their fares..... the bargain hunters are swooping.  

image.thumb.png.5d2bf880dfae30e064f5021db2f2c90c.png

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4 hours ago, Kargokings said:

And when you couple their newly announced schedule for flights in the US with the border planned to reopen in mid August coupled with their fares..... the bargain hunters are swooping.  

image.thumb.png.5d2bf880dfae30e064f5021db2f2c90c.png

Burbank announced last week already dropped, delayed?

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4 hours ago, spreadsheet said:

Burbank announced last week already dropped, delayed?

Maybe too much competition or ?

Frontier Airlines Lands In Burbank As It Alters Its Los Angeles Strategy

  • byJay Singh
  • July 17, 2021
  • 5 minute readADVERTISEMENT

Frontier Airlines has arrived at Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR). With three daily flights, the carrier is not coming in with a large amount of capacity or market share, but it is shaking up its Los Angeles strategy. With new flying out of Burbank, coupled with service increases at other airports in the Los Angeles area, the carrier is looking to cease service to the expensive Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

 
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