Flair Airlines has 4 planes seized: What led to this?

In a move Flair described as “extreme and extraordinary,” a New York-based hedge fund seized four of the airline’s planes over the weekend and many flights were cancelled.

The low-cost airline said it would work to rebook or refund customers, but the cancellation left as many as 1,300 passengers stranded and frustrated, especially those traveling on the March holiday.

Here’s what we know about the flight disruption.

what happened?

Flares announced at series of tweets Saturday night experienced “service disruption” at airports in Toronto, Edmonton and Waterloo, Ontario.

The seizures included two aircraft in Toronto and one each in Edmonton and Waterloo.

“We are very sorry to all of our affected passengers. We know that unforeseen travel disruptions can be stressful and we are doing everything we can to get you to your destination as quickly as possible. ‘ read one of the tweets.

A statement from the airline described the matter as a “commercial dispute,” and company spokesman Mike Arnott confirmed that Flair had leased the plane from a company called Airborne Capital.

The Canadian Press, citing a person familiar with the matter, reported that payments for the affected aircraft were several days late and the outstanding amount was relatively small.

“About $1 million in slightly overdue lease payments,” said Flair CEO Stephen Jones. CTV News Atlantic“Because we believe the dispute is minor and the actions unjustified, we hope to find a conceptual solution with the lessor.”

Jones also said he was aware of the disruption to plans for just under 1,300 passengers.

In the meantime, the company said it was in “continuous communication” with the leasing company and that “payments have begun.”

“Flair Airlines will continue to engage in arbitration under the agreement with the landlord to remedy the situation,” the airline said.

what is flair doing?

The airline said it had three spare aircraft to backfill the canceled flights and was not expecting major disruptions to its route map.

the company said Saturday night on Twitter Affected customers were able to rebook flights with Flare or another airline at no additional cost with the help of our dedicated team.

Customers were also able to rebook their trips and received a refund from Flair within seven days.

“We sincerely apologize for this disruption, especially during a busy travel weekend, and thank our customers for their patience,” the airline said.

“Our team is dedicated to rebooking all affected customers. I assure you that we will try our best to get you to your destination as soon as possible.”

How did passengers react?

Air travelers share stories with CTV News detailing the impact flight disruptions have had on travel and family trips.

Some said Flair was the first to say their flight was cancelled.”Unexpected maintenance delays It’s under the airline’s control, but it’s required for safety. “

I was able to see the plane sitting on the runway with the turbine covered in the area of ​​Waterloo International Airport. some flights Canceled including flares.

“The changes have been made so that the inbound and outbound flights are canceled at exactly the same time,” said Andrea Thompson, who booked a flight with Flair in December for a trip from Halifax to Toronto with her daughter. rice field.

She ended up buying a plane ticket to Ottawa and a train ticket from there to Toronto, spending another $600.

“I’ve lost an entire day of vacation now. We’re only here until Tuesday morning. So I’m really mad. I’m tired,” she said.

What does this mean for FLAIR?

Launched as a charter airline in 2004 and offering scheduled flights in 2018, Flair aims to become Canada’s third largest domestic airline, with a number of recent service and fleet expansion announcements. The we.

John Gladek, a lecturer in McGill University’s Department of Aviation Management, told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday that the seizure of Flair’s plane occurred at a very inappropriate time.

“It’s like a mortgage being taken to the bank and basically changing the locks on your front door,” he said.

Gladek said he questioned why Flair had three backup planes that had not yet flown.

“Each of these planes is a $100 million plane, so unless you have a lot of cash in your pocket that most of these airlines don’t have, leasing is the easiest way to operate these planes,” he said. said.

Gradec described the situation as “an eyesore” for Flair, but hoped this was not a sign of further trouble given the need for such a low-cost airline.

said Phyl Durdey, CEO of Flightline Training Services in Brampton, Ontario.

Flair was previously involved in a longstanding issue over foreign ownership.

In June 2022, Canadian Transport Agency Flair is Canadian and has ruled that the airline can keep its license after readjusting its board composition to ensure that at least half of its directors are Canadian. terminated all of its own shareholder rights by the Miami-based investor owing Video Journalist Hafsa Arif, Digital Content Producer Daniel Caudle, CTV News Kitchener Videographer Colton Wiens, with files from The Canadian Press

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