Past The US: Canada’s Flair Airlines Eyes Mexican Expansion

The Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier Flair Airlines has announced it will expand its connectivity to Mexico by launching routes to Cancun and Los Cabos from five Canadian cities, starting next year. Let’s investigate further.

Flair Airlines, Boeing 737 MAX, Schedule Increase
Flair will launch flights to Mexico next year. Photo: Flair Airlines

New leisure routes

Hello, beaches, said Flair Airlines in a tweet promoting its new routes between Canada and Mexico.

The carrier announced that it will start flying, in February 2021, from Vancouver, Abbotsford, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Kitchener-Waterloo to Cancun and Los Cabos, in Mexico.

In an interview by The Star, Garth Lund, Flair’s Chief Commercial Officer, said,

“Expanding internationally is really something that’s core to our growth strategy moving forward. I think there are a lot of opportunities to bring low fares to a lot of destinations … for next winter, we’ll be looking to expand probably into other places in Mexico, and into the Caribbean.”

Currently, Flair Airlines is not flying to any Mexican destination, per Cirium’s database. The new routes to Mexico are additional to the five new city-to-city connections Flair will be launching between Canada and the United States next year. These routes are Toronto-Nashville, Edmonton-Nashville, Toronto-Denver, Edmonton-San Francisco, and Vancouver-San Francisco.

Flair Airlines currently has a fleet of 11 aircraft, composed of eight Boeing 737 MAX 8, and three B737-800. Moreover, it is set to receive five additional MAX units in the future, according to ch-aviation’s database. Earlier this year, Flair took delivery of its first MAX.

Per Global News, Garth Lund added,

“The average February temperature in Canada is -6 C; the average temperature in Cancun is 28 C, so February seemed like a good month to start service.”

Flair’s growth

Flair Airlines has been growing in the last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, it is offering 882 flights, which means a 76.8% increase, compared to November 2019 levels, according to Cirium’s database. The ultra-low-cost carrier is offering nearly 167,000 seats available on routes departing from Edmonton, Halifax, Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Toronto.

According to Cirium, Flair’s most important route at the moment connects Toronto and Vancouver, with 38 flights in both ways.

Flair is currently flying to Burbank, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, and Orlando-Sanford in the United States. Its main route connects Toronto with Las Vegas.

Nonetheless, Flair aims to increase by nearly 400% its connectivity with the United States by April 2022. It will also be flying to Arizona, Nashville, Denver, Palm Springs, and San Francisco.

Flair Airlines, Boeing 737 MAX, Schedule Increase
Flair has a fleet of 11 aircraft, including several Boeing 737 MAX units. Photo: Flair Airlines

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The connectivity between Mexico and Canada

Unlike the Mexico-US aviation market, the connectivity between Mexico and Canada has slowly been picking up. This happened because Canada remained in a lockdown for many months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In November 2021, there are 1,779 scheduled flights between both countries, per Cirium. That’s a 32.6% decrease compared to a couple of years ago, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. WestJet, Swoop, Sunwing, Air Transat, Aeromexico, and Air Canada are operating in this market. Mexico lost the other airline that used to serve flights to Canada when Interjet ceased operations. Throw into the mix Flair next year, and you’ll see there’s definitely an unbalance between Mexico and Canada-based carriers in this market.

By February 2022 (unless more travel restrictions suddenly appear), the Mexico-Canada market will recover its strength.

Cirium is projecting nearly 3,100 monthly flights between both countries, a 74.1% increase compared to current connectivity. Nonetheless, compared to February 2019, the market will still be 26.9% down in terms of flights and 22.9% down in terms of seats available. The Mexico-Canada market is very seasonal, with high spikes in demand during the winter months. As Garth Lund wisely said, between -6C and 28C, the choice, most often than not, is pretty obvious.

Are you excited Flair Airlines will launch flights to Mexico? Let us know in the comments below.