MIAMI – While Canadian legacy carriers Air Canada (AC) and WestJet (WS) are, for now, trimming routes due to COVID-19, Canada’s only independent ultra-low-cost (ULCC) carrier, Flair Airlines (F8) has a different flight plan: growth.
Flair is adding eight Canadian cities to its route map for the summer season for a total of 18 coast-to-coast destinations. Flair’s ambitious expansion starts May 1 with new service to Ottawa, Ontario; Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Saint John, New Brunswick.
In June, the carrier is adding Thunder Bay, Ontario, and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Two British Columbia cities – Victoria and Abbotsford – will round out the list in August, according to a Flair news release.
“Canadians have been paying too much for too long, and we are changing that with our ULCC model that makes getting around Canada affordable,” Stephen Jones, Flair’s President & CEO said in the news release.
Jones added, “Providing affordable air travel within Canada is the first step in restarting travel and tourism, and Flair is uniquely positioned with the efficiencies of our low-cost model. When non-essential travel returns, Flair will be there to reconnect families and provide the low fares that have long been denied to Canadians.”
Flair’s intentions come as AC and WS halt expansion plans due to further travel restrictions and depressed domestic demand.
The airline currently operates a fleet of 186-passenger Boeing 737-800 aircraft. To meet its growth, Flair is planning to receive 13 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft with 189 seats. F8 said in its news release that it will lease the aircraft from 777 Partners, one of its financiers which recently entered into an agreement with Boeing for 24 new Boeing 737 MAX variants.
Flair’s new management team, led by ULCC veterans Stephen Jones and new Chief Commercial Officer Garth Lund, both formerly with Wizz Air (W6), will begin accepting delivery of the new aircraft later this year.
Featured image: Flair C-FFLJ Boeing 737-86J(WL). Photo: Max Langley/Airways