Flair Airlines sues lessor over repossession of 737 MAX aircraft

Flair Airlines is suing its lessor over repossessed aircraft
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Flair Airlines is suing Airborne Capital after the lessor repossessed four of its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, citing “unlawful and immeasurably destructive actions”. 

The aircraft were repossessed between March 10 and March 12, 2023, when Flair Airlines issued a statement that there were service disruptions at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Edmonton International Airport (YEG), and Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF). According to ch-aviation data, which AeroTime looked at on March 13, 2023, the Canadian low-cost carrier had six Boeing 737 MAXs leased from Airborne capital: C-FLDX, C-FLKA, C-FLKC, C-FLKD, C-FLKI, and C-FLKJ. 

C-FLKI and C-FLKD have been in YEG and YKF, respectively, since their last flights on March 10, 2023. Meanwhile, C-FLDX’s flight from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA), United States (US), on March 15, 2023, is shown as canceled on the flight tracking website, while C-FLKC has not left YYZ since arriving there in the early morning hours of March 15, 2023. 

“Airborne Capital’s unlawful and immeasurably destructive actions were taken on the first weekend of many of our customers’ school breaks. This is profiteering on the backs of Canadians and was entirely unexpected and unwarranted,” read a statement issued by Flair Airlines on March 15, 2023. 

Disrupting the status quo 

According to the low-cost carrier, while the actions lessor’s actions caused disruptions to its customers, a special team dedicated to minimizing the disruption, as well as four aircraft that were brought into service, helped Flair Airlines sustain its services. 

As a result of the repossessions, Flair Airlines filed a lawsuit against Airborne Capital with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. On March 14, 2023, the airline’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) alleged, according to a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), that “there are airlines out there that don’t want Flair to exist, but we will fly and we’re going to thrive.” 

“We were a few days late on a million dollars and to have this action taken is super unusual,” explained Jones, noting that lessors do not want to “take back aircraft completely unexpectedly and then be stuck with them. It’s pretty clear they had somewhere else to put these aircraft”. 

In a statement, where the airline announced its intentions to sue Airborne Capital, Flair Airlines said: “since our inception, we have faced significant resistance in challenging the status quo of an industry weighted by monopolistic practice”. 

“We accept that resistance will continue, as will our response,” the statement concluded.  

Apart from the six Boeing 737 MAX, it leases 12 aircraft of the same type from 777 Partners, a 25% shareholder in Flair Airlines, and two Boeing 737-800 NextGeneration (NG) from Zephyrus Aviation Capital. 

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