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Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines
Flair Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 in the 2021 livery
IATA ICAO Callsign
F8[1] FLE[2] FLAIR[2]
FoundedAugust 19, 2005; 18 years ago (2005-08-19)
(as Flair Air)
Commenced operations2017; 7 years ago (2017)
(as Flair Airlines)
AOC #Canada: 14941[3]
United States: F8RF148F[4]
Operating bases
Fleet size20[5]
HeadquartersEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
Key peopleStephen Jones (President and CEO)
Employees1,250 (Jan 2024)[7]

Flair Airlines is a Canadian ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta.[8] The airline operates scheduled passenger and chartered services with a fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft. The company slogan is Plane and Simple. The airline promotes itself as being Canada's leading independent ULCC.[8][7]



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Flair Air logo, 2005–2017

The airline began operations as a privately owned company on August 19, 2005, under the name Flair Air. In January 2006, Transport Canada authorised the airline to operate scheduled all-cargo services between Cuba and Canada, on behalf of Cubana de Aviación, until April 7, 2006. It also operated some passenger flights on behalf of Cubana. Flair Air operated two Boeing 727-200 aircraft, one for passenger movements and the other for freight services. During this period, Flair also began providing workforce transportation services to several natural resources and major construction companies across Canada.


A former Flair Air Boeing 737-400 in the pre-2017 livery

Flair began adding Boeing 737-400s to its fleet in 2008 to replace the 727-200s. The airline continued to add these aircraft until delivery of a fifth aircraft in 2015. In January 2014, Flair acquired a VIP Embraer ERJ-175 and a VIP Dornier Do-328. Both were retired in September 2016. In June 2017, Flair announced it had purchased the assets of Manitoba-based discount travel company NewLeaf, of which it had been the operator of NewLeaf's flights, as it was not licensed as an airline.[9] Flair retained 85% of former NewLeaf staff in the acquisition,[10] and the NewLeaf brand was retired on July 25, 2017, with flights subsequently operated under the Flair name thereafter.[11][12]

In late 2017, Flair Air rebranded as Flair Airlines, in which it unveiled a new magenta and blue livery, acquired additional aircraft, and announced plans to add more in 2018 and 2019. Two more 737-400s arrived at the airline in December 2017. In 2018, Flair moved its headquarters from Kelowna International Airport to Edmonton International Airport,[13] and 777 Partners invested in Flair with the goal of building a Canadian low-fare carrier. In December 2018, Flair received three leased Boeing 737-800s. These were returned to lessor Smartwings in 2019 as a separately leased trio of 737-800s arrived at the airline.

2019 rebranding–present

A Flair Airlines Boeing 737-800 in the 2019 livery

In February 2019, Flair went through a "top to bottom" makeover, changing its signature colours from purple and red to acid green and black. This reflected the airline's new "Plane and Simple" branding. The brand makeover included a new livery that remains on the airline's 737-800s. New flight attendant uniforms were also rolled out in September 2019.

In February 2020, Flair offered unlimited travel in the form of a one-time fee 90-day pass valid between February 13 and May 13, 2020.[14] In August 2020, Flair retired their final Boeing 737-400 aircraft in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[15]

In January 2021, Flair announced an order for 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets from financing partner 777 Partners, with plans to grow to 50 aircraft within 5 years. The first of these aircraft arrived in May 2021, with a total of 8 scheduled to arrive over the summer months. The remaining five were planned to arrive before 2022.[16] This order came at a crucial time for Boeing, as it restarted MAX operations following a months-long grounding of the type.[17] All future aircraft deliveries to Flair were to be painted in an updated livery, which includes the airline's signature acid green and black colours, as well as subtle highlights of light purple. In December 2021, Flair ordered an additional 14 Boeing 737 MAX 8s.[citation needed]

Regulatory concerns

In March 2022, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ruled that Flair may be in violation of the law that requires it to be controlled by Canadians, and stated that the airline's operating licence may be suspended. Flair denied that it was in violation of Canadian laws and asked for an 18-month exemption to address regulatory concerns.[18] Jones stated that the company would overhaul its board and refinance its debt to reduce foreign influence on the company.[19] The National Airlines Council of Canada, which represents Air Canada, Air Transat, and WestJet released a statement asking the CTA to reject Flair's request.[20] In a statement issued on April 21, Jones stated that the airline had a "zero chance" of losing its operating licence and criticised the lack of competition in the Canadian airline industry.[21] On June 1, 2022, the CTA allowed Flair to keep its operating licence after concluding the airline is Canadian.[22]

Passenger complaints

According to the Canadian Transportation Agency, Flair had the highest number of complaints per 100 flights of the major airlines in Canada, averaging 15.3 complaints per 100 flights over the period of April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023. In comparison, the largest two airlines in Canada, Air Canada and WestJet, had 4.3 and 6.6 complaints per 100 flights, respectively.[23]

The Canadian Transportation Agency again reported that Flair had the highest numbers of complaints in the first quarter of 2023, with 20.9 complaints per 100 flights. Low-cost leisure carrier Sunwing Airlines was second-worst with 17.4 complaints per 100 flights, while low-cost carrier Lynx Air registered 5.2 complaints per 100 flights over the same period.[24]

Aircraft seizures

On March 11, 2023, Airborne Capital Ltd. seized four of its planes operated by Flair over alleged non-payment. In a press conference, Flair CEO Stephen Jones suggested the seizures were motivated by competitors, and that the airline owed around US$1 million on the leases, and was in the process of making payment when the seizures occurred.[25][26] The lessor, Airborne alleged that Flair had repeatedly missed payments amounting to several millions of dollars over a period of five months. Flair used other aircraft to continue to operate its schedule.[27] In January 2024, it was reported that the lessors had filed claims at the UK High Court for costs and that there had been outstanding payments of $1.8 million on the four aircraft when notice of default was served.[28]


This is a list of destinations that Flair Airlines has operated to as of January 2024.[6] It includes destinations served after the airline began scheduled flights in 2017 following the acquisition of Canadian travel company NewLeaf, but does not include or specify destinations served by charter flights that the airline mainly operated between 2005 and 2017.

Destinations as of May 2024

Country Province/state City Airport Notes Refs
Canada Alberta Calgary Calgary International Airport Base
Edmonton Edmonton International Airport Base
British Columbia Abbotsford Abbotsford International Airport
Kelowna Kelowna International Airport
Vancouver Vancouver International Airport Base
Victoria Victoria International Airport
Manitoba Winnipeg Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport Base
New Brunswick Saint John Saint John Airport Seasonal
Newfoundland and Labrador Deer Lake Deer Lake Regional Airport Seasonal [29]
St. John's St. John's International Airport Seasonal [30]
Nova Scotia Halifax Halifax Stanfield International Airport
Ontario Kitchener/Waterloo Region of Waterloo International Airport Base [31]
London London International Airport [32]
Ottawa Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport
Thunder Bay Thunder Bay International Airport [33][34]
Toronto Toronto Pearson International Airport Base
Windsor Windsor International Airport Seasonal [35]
Prince Edward Island Charlottetown Charlottetown Airport Seasonal
Quebec Montreal Montréal–Trudeau International Airport [36]
Quebec City Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport Seasonal [37]
Saskatchewan Saskatoon Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport
Dominican Republic La Altagracia Punta Cana Punta Cana International Airport Seasonal [38]
Jamaica Surrey County Kingston Norman Manley International Airport
Mexico Jalisco Guadalajara Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport
Puerto Vallarta Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport Seasonal [39][40]
Quintana Roo Cancún Cancún International Airport [41]
United States Arizona Phoenix Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Seasonal [42]
California Los Angeles Los Angeles International Airport [43]
Palm Springs Palm Springs International Airport Seasonal [44]
San Francisco San Francisco International Airport [45]
Florida Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport [44]
Orlando Orlando International Airport Begins October 29, 2024 [46]
Nevada Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport [44]
New York New York City John F. Kennedy International Airport Seasonal [47]
Tennessee Nashville Nashville International Airport [45]
Countries served by Flair Airlines as of March 2024[48][49]


Workforce transportation

Between 2007 and 2010, Flair was the exclusive supplier of large aircraft to Shell Canada's project at Albian Sands where, at its peak, the airline was moving over 10,000 construction workers per month from 14 points across Canada into Shell's project site, north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

On October 7, 2013, Flair announced a ten-year agreement with Shell Energy Canada to provide air charter transportation services within Canada. Flair provided logistics planning, passenger reservations, and third-party charter aircraft procurement through a new subsidiary called North Sands Air Services.[50]

Around the world tours

In September 2010, Flair was approached by an Ontario-based tour company to operate a world tour program to 14 countries. Flair reconfigured one of its Boeing 737-400s from 158 economy class seats to 76 business class seats.

In 2011, Flair operated another world tour to 14 new destinations.

In October 2013, Flair operated a South American tour to 10 destinations.

Government charters

Flair has provided ongoing personnel movement for the Department of National Defence and other departments of the Canadian federal government.

ACMI charters

Flair also offers aircraft, complete crew, maintenance, and insurance (aircraft, complete crew, maintenance, and insurance or ACMI) charters which provide customers with a 'turn-key' aircraft package.

Passenger charters

Flair used to operate flights on behalf of other Canadian airlines, such as Air Transat.[51]


Current fleet

As of May 2024, Flair Airlines operates the following aircraft:[5]

Flair Airlines fleet
Aircraft In service Orders[52] Passengers[8] Notes
Boeing 737-800 2 186
Boeing 737 MAX 8 18 189
Total 20

On March 11, 2023, the fleet size was reduced by four Boeing 737s (one 737-800 and three 737 MAX 8) due to seizure by the aircraft lessor.[25][53]

Former fleet

A former Flair Airlines Boeing 737-400 in the 2017–2019 livery

Flair Airlines has previously operated the following aircraft types:[54]

Flair Airlines former fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired
Boeing 727-200 2 2005 2010
Boeing 737-400 8 2008 2020
Cessna 340 1 2009 2015
Dornier 328 1 2014 2016
Embraer 175 1 2014 2016

Cabin and services

Flair's aircraft are configured with 186 or 189 economy class seats in a 3–3 layout. As a low-cost carrier, the airline charges additional fees for various services and amenities, including additional baggage allowances and in-flight catering.[8] Flair offers in-flight entertainment via Wi-Fi to mobile apps or web browsers; however, the airline does not offer in-flight internet access.


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  2. ^ a b "ICAO Designators for Canadian Aircraft Operating Agencies, Aeronautical Authorities and Services" (PDF). Nav Canada. May 4, 2023. p. 4. Retrieved February 26, 2023. Flair Airlines: FLE, FLAIR
  3. ^ Transport Canada (August 31, 2019), Civil Aviation Services (CAS) AOC.
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  5. ^ a b "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Flair Airlines". Transport Canada. Retrieved May 26, 2024.
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  11. ^ "Airline turning over a 'NewLeaf' on anniversary". CTV News Winnipeg. July 25, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  12. ^ McNeil, Shane (July 25, 2017). "NewLeaf begins 'new chapter' with name change". BNN. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  13. ^ Bartko, Karen (June 19, 2018). "Flair Airlines moving headquarters from Kelowna to Edmonton". Global News.
  14. ^ "Flair Airlines introduces 90-day pass for unlimited spring flights". CTV News Calgary. February 5, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  15. ^ McMurtry, Ian (March 13, 2021). "777 Partners and Flair Airlines Confirmed for Boeing 737 MAX". Retrieved July 1, 2021.
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  17. ^ Morley, Daniel (January 28, 2021). "Flair Airlines Announces Boeing 737 MAX Order". Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  18. ^ Atkins, Eric (April 6, 2022). "Flair Airlines faces possible loss of operating licence after Canadian control of company questioned". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  19. ^ Lord, Craig. "Flair Airlines says it will keep operating in Canada. Here's how". Global News. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  20. ^ "Canada's Major Airlines Respond to Exemption Request made by Flair Airlines". National Airlines Council of Canada. April 19, 2022. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  21. ^ Wolfsteller, Pilar (April 24, 2022). "Canada's Flair confident it will not lose its licence". FlightGlobal. DVV Media Group. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  22. ^ Antoneshyn, Alex (June 1, 2022). "Flair Airlines allowed to keep licence after transportation regulator rules company 'is Canadian'". CTV News Edmonton. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  23. ^ Saba, Rosa (June 5, 2023). "Flair tops Canadian airlines for complaints per 100 flights: Canadian Transportation Agency". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
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  25. ^ a b "Flair apologizes for cancellations after plane seizures, says leasing company in talks with competitor". CTVNewsEdmonton. March 14, 2023.
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  28. ^ "Lessors chase 777 Partners for $28m alleging non-payment for Flair 73…". January 10, 2024. Archived from the original on January 10, 2024.
  29. ^ "Deer Lake Airport secures new twice-weekly flight to Ontario". CBC News. December 3, 2021.
  30. ^ "Ultra-low-cost carrier Flair Airlines bringing Ontario flights to St. John's and Deer Lake". CBC. November 9, 2023. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  31. ^ "Flair Airlines inks deal to fly out of Waterloo region's airport". CBC News. February 10, 2021.
  32. ^ "Flair Airlines announces sunny destination from London". CTV News London. June 4, 2022.
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  49. ^ "Flair Airlines Route Map". Flightconnections. March 1, 2024.
  50. ^ "Shell Canada dissolves corporate aviation department". Skies Mag. Retrieved August 14, 2023.
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  53. ^ "WHY Airlines are STEALING each others Airplanes!". Mentour Pilot. Retrieved April 6, 2024.
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Flair Airlines
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