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Flair Airlines Has Planes Seized Due To Missed Lease Payments

Privately held Flair Airlines has had four planes seized after the carrier missed lease payments on the aircraft.

Flair said four of its Boeing 737 Max airplanes were grounded on March 11 over a dispute with New York-based Airborne Capital regarding lease payments on the aircraft.

Flair said it was only a few days in arrears on the payments and owed $1 million on the leases.

The company added that it is now caught up on the missed payments and that all leases are current on its operating fleet of 19 airplanes.

The seizure of the aircraft left Flair Airlines scrambling to rollout other planes as passengers in Toronto, Edmonton and Waterloo, Ontario had their flights canceled.

About 1,900 Flair passengers saw their flights cancelled on March 11, with some 420 of them rebooked within three days, the company said.

Flair said it had three spare aircraft available to backfill the cancelled flights.

Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Flair Airlines expanded its service across Canada during the pandemic, aiming to disrupt the duopoly held by Air Canada (AC) and WestJet Airlines by offering discounted air fares.

However, leasing prices have risen significantly over the last year due to surging travel demand coming out of the pandemic.

Airborne Capital has not commented on the situation with Flair Airlines.