Flair Airlines says four of its aircraft seized in a ‘commercial dispute’

By The Canadian Press, Cole Schisler, Astrid Agbayani

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.”

“This is a commercial dispute, which has impacted four of Flair Airlines’ aircraft. The airline is aggrieved by this unprecedented action,” the airline said in an email to CityNews.

According to the airline, it has been in ongoing communications with its lessor.

“Payment has been initiated, as they have been previously done. Flair airlines will continue to engage in a consensual mediation with the lessor to remedy the situation.”

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Flair says it will use “additional fleet capacity” to lessen the effects on passengers and it does not foresee any major disruptions to its route map. Company spokesman Mike Arnot says a number of Flair flights were cancelled Saturday morning, but the company has three spare aircraft to backfill those flights.

“We are truly very sorry passengers were impacted today, and are taking steps to get them on their way with minimal disruption.”

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.

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.

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