Flair Airlines says passengers were impacted after four of its leased aircraft were seized in Toronto, Edmonton and Waterloo, Ont., in what the company is calling a commercial dispute.
Flair issued a statement on Saturday calling the move by a New York-based hedge fund to take the aircraft “extreme and unusual.”
It says Flair will use additional fleet capacity to lessen the effects on passengers and it does not foresee any major disruptions to its route map.
A person familiar with the matter but who was not authorized to speak publicly about it said the payments for the affected planes were only a few days behind, and that it was a small amount relative to Flair’s overall revenue.
Company spokesperson Mike Arnot says a number of Flair flights were cancelled Saturday morning, but the company has three spare aircraft to backfill those flights.
Arnot says passengers travelling in the next 72 hours will either be accommodated on Flair flights or another airline at Flair’s expense if a Flair flight isn’t available.
Laura Pomeroy told CBC News that she and her family were among the passengers affected.
The Toronto family arrived at Pearson airport destined for Disneyland in California when they learned their flight had been cancelled.
“We called the customer service line and they said that the flight had been cancelled due to mechanical issues,” Pomeroy said, adding they were offered hotel and food vouchers but never received them.
She said Flair rebooked their flights for next week but they found the new departure date “super not helpful for us on our March break vacation” and decided to buy tickets from another airline for a flight that leaves tomorrow morning.
Pomeroy said she only learned of the Flair plane seizures from a friend who sent her a link to a news article in response to Pomeroy posting about her flight cancellation on social media.
“I can understand that there are issues that could arise, that they maybe couldn’t control at the last moment, but what I don’t understand was why wasn’t there anyone there to talk to us, to tell us what was happening,” she said.
CBC News was not able to independently verify whether Pomeroy’s flight cancellation was due to the Flair planes seized in Toronto.
According to Flair’s website, the low-cost Alberta-based airline has delivered passengers to more than 35 destinations — mostly in Canada and some locations in the U.S. and Mexico — since it was launched in 2017.
Source : CBC