Canada’s Flair Airlines Acquiring Boeing 737 MAX

Filed Under: Other Airlines

A small Canadian airline has just become the latest customer for the Boeing 737 MAX.

Flair Airlines acquiring 13 737 MAX 8s

Canadian ultra low cost carrier Flair Airlines will lease 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Perhaps most amazing is that the airline will be taking delivery of these planes in early 2021, so that’s potentially just weeks away.

These planes are being leased from aircraft leasing firm 777 Partners, which recently entered into an agreement with Boeing for 24 new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, along with the option for a further 60 aircraft. Boeing has been trying to find new buyers for the 737 MAX, so I’m sure both the leasing company and the airline got a great deal here.

Flair will configure these 737 MAXs with 189 seats, which is quite a dense configuration. With these planes, the airline will have the lowest cost per seat mile of any Canadian airline — the plane will deliver fuel savings, and cut CO2 emissions by 14%.

The 737 MAX 8 has a range of up to 3,550 nautical miles, or about 6,570 kilometers. So the plane can operate virtually any route in Canada, and even select transatlantic routes (though I don’t necessarily think we’ll see the airline fly to Europe anytime soon).

Flair Airlines CEO Stephen Jones had the following to say:

“Canadians have been paying too much for too long. We must do our part to ensure affordable air travel is available to all Canadians across Canada if travel and tourism are to return this year. Our efficient new aircraft will provide us the foundation to execute our ULCC business model. These planes will enable us to keep fares low while expanding our service to meet travel demand. As a ULCC, we have an extraordinary impact on the lives of Canadians and the communities in which they live by making travel across the country affordable and accessible.”

Flair Airlines hopes to grow fleet to 50 planes

Currently Flair is a small Canadian airline. While the company has been around since 2005, it has existed in its current form since 2017. At the moment the Edmonton-based airline only has three Boeing 737-800s, and operates to about 10 destinations in Canada.

The airline is now hoping to grow big-time, as Flair hopes to have 50 planes within five years, and become a major Canadian airline.

The airline is basically somewhere along the lines of Spirit or Ryanair, which Canada doesn’t really otherwise have currently for domestic flights. So it’s fantastic to see the airline grow, as it will provide some competition in the country, especially with Air Canada acquiring Air Transat.

Bottom line

Flair Airlines will shortly take delivery of 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, in the process more than quintupling the size of its fleet. While it might seem like a strange time for an airline to expand like this, I’m betting Flair got a heck of a deal on these planes.

Soon the airline will become a real competitor in Canada.

What do you make of Flair’s 737 MAX acquisition?

(Featured image courtesy of Brand03)

Comments
  1. Sadly, I will not have the privilege of flying this great ULCC airline as I do not wish to fly one way (cfit or un-cfit) on a return ticket.

  2. This is good news for people living in the captive market of Kelowna who are at the mercy of AC or WS (AS cancelled all flights in Mar 2019).

    If you are trying to be successful as an ULCC, the Max is the best choice on the market with its great fuel economy. With AC and WS also flying the Max there is no differentiation between carriers so I cannot see any sensible person choosing not to fly Flair because of the choice of airplane.

    With the large increase in metal I hope they start a charter operation to PVR or CUN next winter. 4-5 hours is just about the limit for single cabin flights provided the saving is there.

  3. Makes sense for the coming summer season upswing if the pandemic calms down. Surprised they are getting them so soon.

    With the exception of Air Transat, all the modern airlines in Canada chose the MAX over the neo. And those without the MAX will eventually get them because they already have the NG.

    So I’m happy for the Canadian airlines to get the MAX back in service.

  4. Every time we read about an airline getting planes we read they got a heck of a deal. Who pays full price?

  5. Did anyone notice that the airline appears to be unveiling a new livery at the same time? The scheme in the announcement is different from their current one.

  6. Hmmm???!, … a budget airline, using pilots with less skill and fewer hours in the chair than major airlines, buys an airplane with a deadly rep because it has overly-complicated (perhaps buggy) non-standard operation procedures.

    #HellNo

  7. Can someone help me understand the logic of legacy carriers buying out LCC to cut competition? It seems that new ones just pop up again. The model is sustainable

  8. @Abey

    I mean it’s sort of the same in many industries, no? Fashion, technology, conglomerated food+bev, etc. (Each to varying extents and with different industry-specific nuances) This is why there’s a whole sub-field of banking focused on M&A and a parallel cottage industry of consultants who work on this.

    As for whether its sustainable for these existing heavy-weights… who knows. Up to them and their competitive evaluation of the market.

  9. @Walter

    With the collapse of the airline industry in Canada there are many 737 pilots laid off from AC or WS that probably are type certified and have been flying the Max since 2018. Since Flair only have three -8’s in service they likely have hired some of the best Max pilots in the world since they are starting next month or so.

    The pilots who managed to crash the Max were some of the least experienced flying – can’t remember the details but one only had under 200 hours.

    Please also remember this model has had 20 months of testing to ensure that it is ready to fly and fly safely. It already had 2 years in service before someone managed to crash it.

    So I’m probably in the #hellyes category except the problems with seat configuration and toilets will influence the choice. The comfort part of the equation will probably restrict me to those models that have a decent business class which probably ends up being AC.

  10. @ Walter Stamper, couldn’t agree more, as far as laid off pilots yes there are some 737 pilots but probably not fully retrain max pilots.

    The plane has a basic problem old plane new design, and yes there will probably be more crashes so can’t see myself on getting on one anytime soon especially a low cost airline.

  11. @Walter Stamper not really the case in Canada most Boeing pilots in Canada are among the highest trained in the world, we have been getting many US 787 pilots Canadian certification for the aircraft as well as 737 and now the max … for example I got hired by a us airline with a big signing bonus and I got a signing bonus in December because certification levels are much higher in canada, I was told I would be apart of new leadership “study” program for current pilots even though many are 3 decades older than me. this is why you see many Canadian / Canadian certified pilots operating in us. after they received signing bonus, they also don’t t generally opt for an extension with the us airline

  12. Thank you for the feedback, everyone. Perhaps I’m being paranoid, but I think I’ll wait 10 years for Boeing to ensure the Max is safe before I consider tempting fate riding on one. I think the better plan is for me to simply build my own new plane; I think there’s space in the market for a new design, improvement, and efficiency over the current legacy designs. That’ll keep me too busy to fly on current tech and be a boon to the industry. Well, I guess it’s time to get to work on it; cheers.

  13. @Walter Stamper

    Didn’t realize how easy it would be to design and build a totally new ecological airplane in this day and age. Am looking forward to flying on the WalterStamper100X in a few years.

    Between now and then I’ll probably take the safest airplane in the air at the moment (other than the C Series Bombardier) – the MAX

  14. @Azamaraal

    Some people consider calculus child’s play, others will go their entire life not comprehending even the basics. Some find physics a joy, others consider it too difficult. Some eagerly program in assembly, others cannot even figure out privacy settings for a phone. Everyone has their limitations, I accept you have yours.

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