Flair Airlines gets a makeover

Flair Airlines new livery (photo: Flair)

Canadian ultra low-cost airline Flair has revealed a new look for its Boeing 737 aircraft.

“Flair has gone green,” said corporate spokeswoman Julie Rempel.

“With this brand, this updo, we no longer wish to stand in the background.”

And what passengers can see and touch is colourful. A light green underbelly and engine nacelles frame a white fuselage with black nose and tail. A simple “flair” in large, friendly letters, with a black circle adorn the side of the plane. The tail is black with white “flair” lettering, with the same circle in white.

“It’s brought about a lot of controversy around the place,” said David Tait, Flair’s Executive Chairman at a news conference in Edmonton. Referring to the black dot in the new livery, “we just liked it. We just felt it gives us a whole new different, clear, fun look.”

Flair calls the design “plane and simple,” a play on its mission to offer low base airfares, which charging for all the extras, such as carry-on baggage.

“The bright modern design is reflective of the positive spirit we want travellers to experience,” said Flair Chief Commercial Officer Charles McKee in a statement, “and makes a solid statement that Flair is on a mission to make travel more accessible, more affordable and more desirable while allowing us to add little humour along the way.” 

The rebrand was not universally loved, with some on social media going so far as to call it “ugly,” while others compared it to Go Airlines out of India.

Flair has more than doubled in size since it launched service as an ultra low-cost carrier in January 2018. The airline moved its headquarters and established a hub in Edmonton, it now flies 10 aircraft, with four new planes on the way, and has added 100 staff in the past nine months.

As one of Canada’s two active ultra low-cost carriers, however, Flair is in a pitched battle with Swoop Airlines, backed by Westjet. And the ultra low-cost field could get more crowded in 2019, with Canada Jetlines announcing in news releases its intentions to fly in 2019, though it has yet to confirm a date.

A Flair Airlines Boeing 737-400 in its old livery departs Vancouver International Airport February 5, 2019. (photo: Brett Ballah)

Flair certainly has its loyal backers. But the airline has also taken a beating on message boards, from passengers complaining about rushed connections, cancelled flights, and poor customer service.

The first plane in the new colours will take flight in March (it is being painted in Amsterdam), with the website, signage and and inflight menus already refurbished. New crew uniforms by Canadian designer CarryCorp are set to be rolled out in April.

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