Air Canada

Flair to expand 33% next summer


Move comes as Canada’s airlines — including Air Canada, Westjet, Porter, and even Flair — look to rebuild national and international networks

Flair Airlines is set to expand summer capacity by 33%
Flair’s first Boeing 737 Max performs a flypast at Edmonton International Airport June 2021 (Brett Ballah).

Bolstered by the arrival of four more Boeing 737 Max aircraft, Edmonton-based Flair Airlines announced plans to expand capacity 33% next summer.

“Flair is continuing our growth by adding more aircraft and routes so we can bring sustainably low fares to even more iconic destinations across North America,” said Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Flair Airlines. “Whether you’re looking for a weekend break on Vancouver Island or hiking in the Rockies, Flair will get you there affordably.”

The airline is adding four cities and 14 routes to the network. New destinations in the United States are Nashville, Denver, and San Francisco. Comox on Vancouver Island is the lone new Canadian destination. The airline’s base at Toronto will grow to five aircraft, while Vancouver will see three Flair aircraft based at the airport. The airline is also preparing to add a crew base at Edmonton, which will house two aircraft.

Edmonton will see the largest increase in flights and destinations for the summer. The Alberta capital — once Flair’s hub — will see new service to Nashville, San Francisco, Comox, Regina, Montreal, Winnipeg, and Saskatoon. It’s the first time Edmonton will have non-stop service to Tennessee. Nashville was served from Calgary by Westjet pre-pandemic.

“All new and added service supports our recovery which is important for both our business community and leisure travellers,” said Edmonton Airports chief executive Tom Ruth in a statement. “I want to thank Flair for adding these American destinations along with significant increases in service for several Canadian cities. I’m confident our community will embrace these flights and this increased service from Flair,”

Flair adds jobs and routes

The airline estimates the expansion will create 150 jobs for flight attendants, pilots, and related personnel. It’s part of the airline’s stated ambition to grow to 50 aircraft within the next few years.

TorontoNashville2x / week
TorontoDenver3x / week
EdmontonNashville2x / week
EdmontonSan Francisco2x / week
Vancouver San Francisco2x / week
CalgaryComox3x / week
EdmontonComox3x / week
EdmontonRegina2x / week
EdmontonMontreal3x / week
EdmontonWinnipeg3x / week
EdmontonSaskatoon3x / week
TorontoVictoria1x / week
VancouverKelowna3x / week
KelownaVictoria3x / week
Table shows Flair’s plans to expand in summer 2022 (source: Flair)

Other airlines make moves

Flair’s announcement came the same day Air Canada announced a new carbon offset program for business travellers. Carbon emissions are a major issue for environmentally-conscious businesses.

Deloitte is the first company to sign on. “Deloitte is steadfast in its commitments to address climate change by driving environmentally responsible choices within our organisation and beyond,” said Anthony Viel, CEO at Deloitte Canada.

Canada’s largest airline plans a return to numerous international routes in the coming summer. That includes adding year-round and seasonal service to destinations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.

“As we continue to rebuild our global network, Air Canada is excited to plan its return to these popular leisure destinations across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, offering its customers to explore the world again,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada. “Our schedule will enable convenient onward travel through our Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary hubs to and from our global destinations.”