Flair Airlines says it has caught up on payments after four planes were seized this weekend, leaving travellers scrambling at the start of the busy March Break travel season.
The four airplanes were seized from airports in Toronto, Edmonton and Waterloo on Saturday morning after, the discount air carrier says, it fell behind on lease payments. The seizures affected the travel plans of just under 1,900 customers.
The planes were leased to Flair by the Dublin-based company Airborne Capital.
Flair CEO Stephen Jones says they didn’t expect the seizure.
“We were only a few days in arrears and that’s not unusual. We were about $1 million in arrears, which is about half of one day’s sales for us,” Jones told reporters Monday.
Jones also admitted the airline’s response “wasn’t perfect” but said that it is going “above and beyond” for customers.
Jones says of the 1,900 affected, about 420 travellers were able to rebook a Flair flight within three days and the others have been offered the chance to book Flair flights further in the future. If that’s not convenient for travellers, Flair said, the company has offered to get them to their destination on other airlines, at a cost that will be reimbursed by Flair.
“We’re doing that because it’s the right thing to do, and this was obviously unexpected and unusual and we needed to play catch up,” Jones said.
The Star has reached out to Airborne Capital for a statement. An employee for the company previously told the Star they weren’t commenting.
The Edmonton-based discount air carrier, Flair, currently has 19 planes in its operating schedule. Three other spare planes that had been standing by for the busy summer months were added to the schedule to help fill gaps left by the seized aircrafts.
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