Windsor airport CEO pleased Flair Airlines carrier can keep its licence

·2 min read
In this file photo, Flair Airlines spokesperson Eric Tanner, Windsor International Airport CEO Mark Galvin, and Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens stand inside of the airport's terminal following an announcement for new flights departing from Windsor. On Wednesday, the company was deemed 'Canadian' by the Canadian Transportation Agency. (Jacob Barker/CBC - image credit)
In this file photo, Flair Airlines spokesperson Eric Tanner, Windsor International Airport CEO Mark Galvin, and Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens stand inside of the airport's terminal following an announcement for new flights departing from Windsor. On Wednesday, the company was deemed 'Canadian' by the Canadian Transportation Agency. (Jacob Barker/CBC - image credit)

The CEO of Windsor International Airport is happy to see that Flair Airlines will continue to fly in Canada.

The carrier was under review by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), as to whether the company is Canadian, as defined in the Canada Transportation Act.

On Wednesday, the agency deemed the company is Canadian.

The ruling means the Edmonton-based upstart carrier can keep its operating licence.

The CTA's investigation was on the radar for officials at Windsor International Airport, where Flair is set to start flying next month.

"It's obviously good news for us, with Flair starting in early July with two flights a week to Montreal and two to Halifax," said Windsor International Airport CEO Mark Galvin.

"So it's something that we've obviously been monitoring and always supported Flair working with the CTA to resolve any issues they might have, and it's obviously a favourable result for us."

Canadian legislation allows no more than 49 per cent ownership of a Canadian airline by foreign entities.

The CTA had been investigating Flair's ownership to determine whether its relationship with Miami-based investor 777 Partners violated those rules.

Flair has made a number of changes as a result of the investigation, including a promise to increase the number of Canadians on its board.

Flair has faced opposition from larger rivals Air Canada, WestJet and 30-odd other carriers who have publicly called for the regulator to rule against it.

At a press conference in Edmonton on Tuesday, Flair president and CEO Stephen Jones said he was thrilled with the ruling and said it further cements that the airline is here to stay.

"Flair is challenging a status quo in this country that accepts sky-high domestic air fares as a fact of life, a status quo created and protected by the big air carriers that makes it cheaper to fly to Europe than it is to fly to Halifax," he said.

Flair launching flights out of Windsor

The discount carrier is offering new flights to Halifax and Montreal this summer out of Windsor.

Flair said the twice-weekly services to Halifax will begin July 8 and twice weekly to Montreal on July 7. The cost of a one-way ticket including taxes is set to be $29 to Montreal and $49 to Halifax from Windsor.

The company will also offer weekly, $99 flights from Windsor to Tucson, Ariz., from Dec. 1, 2022, to March 23, 2023.

Galvin said that bookings have been strong.

"They're a great partner for us," he said of Flair. "I think Windsor's going to embrace them and we look forward to the future."

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