Flair Airlines Adds Aircraft, Commits to Customers

DALLASFlair Airlines (F8) has announced the addition of two new Boeing 737 Max aircraft to its fleet in preparation for the busy summer travel season. The two new leases were facilitated through lessor SMBC Aviation Capital. The aircraft are due for delivery before the 2023 summer schedule starts to assist with the ultra-low-cost carrier’s (ULCC) new routes and increased demand.

This announcement comes just months after the airline entered a bitter public spat with Lessor Airborne Capital, leading to four aircraft being seized. The New York-based hedge fund and aircraft lessor said it had encountered numerous issues with payments from the airline. Flair responded by saying that the incident was “extreme and unusual.” The matter is now in court.

Stephen Jones, CEO of Flair Airlines, noted that “professional management of aircraft assets” helped the airline in its partnership with SMBC, and the lessor is pleased to “support [their] mission to deliver the lowest fares in Canada”.

Barray Flannery, Chief Commercial Officer for SMBC Aviation Capital, explained the importance of the “modern fuel-efficient aircraft that will allow Flair to provide even more value to their customers over the coming years.” Flannery also stated the importance of the partnership by saying they “look forward to many years of growth and successful partnership with Flair”.

Flair C-FFLJ Boeing 737-86J(WL)
Flair C-FFLJ Boeing 737-86J(WL) | Photo: Max Langley/Airways

Canada’s Leading ULCC

The news comes following the recent announcement by WestJet (WS) that their low-cost subsidiary Swoop (WO) would be reintegrated into the mainline operations by the end of October 2023 as part of the ratification of their new collective agreement. The disbandment of Swoop allows for F8 to sit in a strong position as the leading ultra-low-cost carrier within the county.

The ULCC also used the press conference to highlight their commitment to the “Flair family,” as the company recently passed the milestone of 1250 employees within their company. Jones noted that an additional 2000 employees within their network work for third-party contracted companies that ensure Flair can complete all their flights across their expansive network.

C-FLKI, Flair Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways

Customer Experience

Finally, the airline touched on its commitment to its customers and their travel experience with Flair. Jones highlighted he understands the airline isn’t perfect, and work must still be done.

However, their recent announcement of the launch of a specialist customer service centre in Montreal should help address customers’ concerns and continue to keep customer complaints at a Canadian low.

Recently released operational metrics show Flair’s impressive development boasting a Canadian-high 99.1% completion factor flight for flights completed in May 2023. The airline also boasts an exceptional 82.1% on-time performance for flights arriving within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival. Jones also was happy to say their load factor during the last month was over 90% and that 436,000 passengers travelled with the low-cost airline.

With new aircraft arriving and impressive growth in the market, Flair is still on course to reach their F50 goal of 50 aircraft in the fleet. Jones did note that this goal may now be pushed to 2026-27 instead of the planned 2025 due to recent industry and airline issues.

However, with the loss of competition, the airline has a clear path to bring dominant competitive fares to Canadian travellers.

Featured Image: Flair Airlines 737-8 C-FFEL | Photo: Liam Funnell/Airways.

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Article source: https://airwaysmag.com/flair-airlines-adds-aircraft/

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