Monday, August 20, 2018

Canada’s Flair Airlines plans 11 US flights

Edmonton-based independent ultra-LCC Flair Airlines stepped up its competition with the Canadian majors’ subsidiary LCCs Aug. 20 by announcing 11 new nonstop transborder US flights for the upcoming winter season.

New nonstop routes out of Flair’s Edmonton International Airport (YEG) hub include Las Vegas McCarran International (LAS), Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA), Palm Springs International (PSP), Orlando International (MCO) and Miami International (MIA). Flair announced it will also fly to Las Vegas, Phoenix/Mesa, Orlando and Miami from Winnipeg International (YWG), along with a new Winnipeg-St. Pete/Clearwater (PIE) pairing. A new Toronto-Miami route was announced as well.

Both of Flair’s new Edmonton flights to Las Vegas and Phoenix/Mesa will compete directly with flights offered by WestJet subsidiary LCC Swoop. Flair’s new Toronto-Miami flight will compete with Air Canada’s rouge LCC subsidiary, though rouge offers 2X-daily service on the route.

Flair’s Edmonton-Las Vegas route is set to launch from Nov. 9, while the remaining flights will roll out starting Dec. 15.

Previously a charter carrier, Flair transitioned to scheduled passenger service in 2017. In June, the carrier doubled its domestic routes from 90 to 188 weekly flights and expanded its reach across Canada with new flights serving Victoria International Airport (YYJ), Calgary International (YYC) and Halifax Stanfield International (YHZ).

While Flair’s primary connecting hub is Edmonton International, the company’s recent domestic route moves brings it into ever more concentrated competition with Air Canada and rouge, as well as Calgary-based WestJet and Swoop.

Winnipeg International is Flair’s second-largest connecting hub, connecting to Edmonton and Calgary but also to Abbotsford International (YXX) and Vancouver International (YVR) in British Columbia.

Earlier in August, Flair announced it will pull out of Hamilton’s John C. Munro International Airport (YHM) in late October to consolidate its southern Ontario flying out of Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). The airline plans to launch new domestic routes between Toronto-Winnipeg and Calgary-Abbotsford for the winter season.

At present Flair’s fleet comprises seven Boeing 737-400s. The airline has said it plans to add two additional aircraft in 2018, both 737-800s, and four more in 2019 as part of its expansion plans.

(Mark Nensel - ATWOnline News)

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