Flair Airlines Eyes 2020 Boeing 737-400 Fleet Retirement

Flair Airlines is heading for the sun with a fleet renovation that will see it offer services to more destinations in the south. It comes alongside the news that the Canadian-based airline is retiring certain aircraft from its fleet to become a single-type carrier.

Flair Airlines Eyes 2020 Boeing 737-400 Fleet Retirement
Flair Airlines is updating its fleet. Photo: Flair Airlines

Who are Flair Airlines?

Flair Airlines has been around for a few years, though it only recently became a scheduled airline, in June 2018 according to its website. Before that, it was named Flair Air and was mainly charged with providing air charter services.

In 2017, it bought NewLeaf – the travel company that it managed – and merged both services under a re-branding to become ‘Flair Airways’.

Just over one year into service as a scheduled airline, Flair is Canada’s first (and only) independent Ultra Low Cost Carrier (or, ULCC). This puts it in competition with some of Canada’s other ULCC airlines including Swoop and Jetlines.

Flair Airlines Eyes 2020 Boeing 737-400 Fleet Retirement
Flair has been in the air for a while and this is how it used to be known… Photo: Liam Allport via Flickr

During the rebrand in 2017, Flair got a new website, logo and livery which has been painted on some of it’s latest aircraft. CCO, Charles McKee, spoke of the new design as being “reflective of the positive spirit we want travelers to experience”.

Flair has previously stated that part of its mission is making travel more accessible by offering travelers unpackaged value and flights to destinations not offered by other carriers.

Fewer aircraft for better gains

Flair Airlines, headquartered in Edmonton, is a solely Canadian service, operating in eight domestic locations. Having flown over 10,000 flights since 2018, the airline boasts of its confidence in the Boeing 737-400, stating it is “among the world’s safest customer jets”.

Flair Airlines has 10 aircraft, mostly composed of the -400 series. However, it will now retire all seven of those aircraft by 2020 in order to make way for better fuel efficiency and long-range routes.

This year, it received three Boeing 737-800 aircraft; the first in March 2019, another in June and the final one in August. All these aircraft received the new livery and logo.

Speaking to CH-Aviation, Flair Airlines said:

“By next summer Flair plans to be operating a single-type fleet of B737-800NGs, which are more fuel-efficient and also have longer range capabilities.”

The airline has steered clear of the still grounded Boeing 737 MAX in its pursuit for reliability.

The phasing out of the -400 series will be gradual as Flair Airlines slowly adds to its fleet. It is expected that the airline will receive another 17 aircraft according to Executive Chairman, David M. Tait OBE, who said:

“Going forward, our robust fleet expansion plan should see up to 20 newer, more fuel-efficient and longer-range aircraft by the end of 2020.”

An airline gaining traction

Whilst Flair Airlines started out relatively small, it holds a lot of hope under its wings.

Its re-branding was just one of the ways that it has shown confidence in its service. In 2018, it was also able to increase its workforce by 20%, relocate to a new HQ and expand its network to 10 destinations.

But with the new aircraft plans in the works, it is capable of reaching even more passengers and working even more closely with its goal to become a hometown airline in Edmonton.