On January 27th, 2021, Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier Flair Airlines announced that it would be ordering 13 new Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets. The airline took delivery of the first of these this past Wednesday, the start of an initial expansion to a total fleet size of 16 aircraft.
“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.” – Stephen Jones, President & CEO of Flair Airlines (January 2021) via official statement
Facilitating a summer expansion
Positioning itself for growth once pandemic-restrictions ease in Canada, Flair Airlines took delivery of its first MAX aircraft on Wednesday. According to Airways Mag, this first aircraft is registered C-FLEJ.
ch-aviation notes that this leased aircraft was ordered by investment firm 777 Partners, who is listed as the aircraft’s legal owner. Meanwhile, Planespotters.net data states that the nearly two-year-old aircraft held three prior test registrations (N1786B, N1799B, N1782B, N57001) before taking its current Canadian letters.
The 737 MAX 8 aircraft will be added to Flair Airlines’ existing fleet of 737s. Before this latest delivery, the carrier had just three 737-800s. All aircraft are configured in an all-economy layout with 189 seats. These -800s have an average age of 10.7 years and flew for various other airlines, including Air Berlin, Siam Air, and Air China.
Simple Flying had the chance to experience Flair Airlines services nearly a year ago and writing a flight review of the opportunity.
In January, Flair said that its MAX 8 acquisition put the airline well on its way to its “F50” ambition, growing to 50 planes within five years.
A ‘new’ two-year-old jet?
It’s interesting to note that the ‘new’ Boeing 737 MAX 8s aren’t new in the way most would assume. Indeed, the aircraft that will eventually join Flair’s fleet rolled off the assembly line between 1.3 and 1.9 years ago.
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This oddity in aircraft age is due to the 737 MAX crisis, which stretched from March 2019 through to the start of this year. Looking at their ages, all of Flair’s future aircraft would have been built during the crisis, when the 737 MAX was grounded globally from operating commercial services. With some airlines canceling their orders, we would assume that the owners of the aircraft, 777 Partners, received a fairly good deal on these ‘white tail’ jets.
Of course, those aware of current events in the aviation world might have some concerns regarding the 737 MAX. To that, Flair said in its January statement:
“In advance of the new 737-8 aircraft joining our fleet of existing 737-800s, Flair’s team of pilots, maintenance professionals, flight attendants and safety officers will conduct extensive testing and training programs.”
The airline adds that it will work to ensure its processes and training help better its “already impeccable safety standards.”
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