Canada’s Flair Airlines Operates Inaugural Boeing 737 MAX Flight

Canada’s Flair Airlines has launched services for the first time with its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.…

Canada’s Flair Airlines Operates Inaugural Boeing 737 MAX Flight

Canada’s Flair Airlines has launched services for the first time with its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The ultra-low-cost carrier recently placed an order for 13 units of the narrowbody, and the first of these is flying between Edmonton and Toronto today. Simple Flying caught up with the company’s president and CEO, Stephen Jones, ahead of the big launch.

Flair Airlines is ready to hit the skies with its new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Photo: Flair Airlines

The first of many

The first 737 MAX in the fleet just joined the airline at the end of last month. The jet marks a run of eight units that will also be added by August. They will fly alongside Flair’s three 737-800 that are on lease as the carrier prepares for the next chapter. Altogether, the planes form part of the company’s “F50” goal, which will see it hold 50 aircraft in the next half a decade.

These additions will help Flair focus on the domestic market through the summer amid the Canadian border, with the US still being shut due to the restrictions implemented as a result of the pandemic. Thereafter, as the border reopens, the aircraft will also be seen across the border and also to the likes of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Across Canada, passengers can expect to see the 737s on routes to 19 destinations. The operator is ramping up its services to airports in the country, with the likes of Ottawa and St. John’s seeing new operations over the next few months. This move follows recent expansions with new operations to Prince George, Fort McMurray, Regina, and Saskatoon launching last summer.

The arrival of the 737 MAX allowed Flair to become Canada’s fourth operator of the type. The carrier is a fan of the aircraft along with Air Canada, Westjet, and Sunwing Airlines. According to ch-aviation, this first unit is on lease from 777 Partners. The aircraft was delivered on May 26th and conducted its first flight back on August 27th, 2019.

In January, Canadian authorities announced the clearance of the 737 MAX for a return to service, following the Federal Aviation Administration’s update at the end of last year. Amid the reentry, Flair’s teams have been working closely with Boeing on extensive testing and training programs ahead of the entry.

Flair 737 Jet
After much anticipation, the new aircraft will leave Edmonton at 17:30 MT before landing in Toronto at 23:20 ET on June 10th. Photo: Flair Airlines

Strong ambitions

Flair has been making good ground since its founding in 2005. Based in Edmonton, the airline has grown to hold bases at Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver.

The MAX will dominate the fleet this decade. Included in the setup may be the MAX 200, a variant that has risen to fame following fellow low-cost carrier Ryanair’s faith in the plane. The firm offers fares as low as $19, drawing comparison to its Irish counterpart in terms of pricing. So, it’s not a surprise that Flair would be eager to match the operator with saving prospects.

“We’re going to stay purely with the MAX. We do like the look of the game-changer, the 200, and so it’s likely that we would add those into the fleet as possible. It’s a slightly bigger aircraft in terms of the number of passengers on board, not on the physical size. It would naturally go on to some of the trunk routes,” Jones told Simple Flying.

“It again drops unit costs, which is what it’s all about for us. It’s continually lowering our costs, which means we can lower our prices, which stimulates demand.”

Flair 737 MAX
Regionally and internationally, Flair’s new 737 MAX jets will serve well across Flair AIrlines’ network. Photo: Flair Airlines

The right balance

Flair has its sights on sustainable growth and is looking to become Canada’s greenest airline. The company highlights that after taking delivery of more MAX aircraft, it will have the lowest carbon emissions per person in the commercial aviation industry.

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The fuel savings won’t only allow Flair to have the lowest cost per seat mile in the country, it will also slash carbon emissions by 14%. Therefore, the aircraft allows the company to keep on top of two of its key missions – low costs and low emissions.

“It’s really important to us that we have a modern, efficient, reliable fleet. So, the MAX is a fantastic platform for an ultra-low-cost carrier being a very efficient aircraft. Not only physically with the paint, but in an environmental sense, and there is also about 50% noise reduction relative to its predecessors as well. So, when you put those together, it’s a fantastic platform for us,” Jones adds.

“Internally, you know it’s a beautiful customer experience, everything’s as you would expect from a new aircraft, with the new plane smell and the brand new seating and everything. So, it’s a really important step as Canada’s first and only true ultra-low-cost carrier.”

737 MAX Flair
The airline is proud to display the fresh livery paint on the Boeing 737 MAX, marking a new chapter for the firm. Photo: Flair Airlines

Opening up the skies

Following a well-publicized challenging two years for the 737 MAX, airlines have been showing their optimism in the plane since its reintroduction. Carriers across the globe have been ramping up orders. For instance, Alaska Airlines recently bolstered its orders. Moreover, earlier today, we reported that United Airlines could order 100 units of the type. Flair’s sentiments seem to echo several other carriers when it comes to commitment to the model.

Altogether, Flair feels that Canadians have been paying too much for too long for airfares. Therefore, the airline is keen to transform and liberate Canadians to travel more within their own country and overseas by bringing a true ultra-low-cost carrier. It believes that this step is a milestone for Canada’s commercial aviation scene.

What are your thoughts about Flair Airlines’ new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft? Will you be looking to hit the air with the operator this year? Also, what do you make of the overall plans for the carrier? Let us know what you think of the company and its services in the comment section.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Southwest Airlines Adds New Destinations While Extending Schedule

Southwest Airlines will be back flying to all of its early 2020 international destinations by mid-November. The news…

Southwest Airlines Adds New Destinations While Extending Schedule

Southwest Airlines will be back flying to all of its early 2020 international destinations by mid-November. The news is part of a bundle of announcements Southwest Airlines made on Thursday. On the same day, the airline also confirmed new domestic flights to Bellingham, Washington, and Syracuse, New York.

Southwest announced flights to several new and resuming destinations on Thursday. Photo: Southwest Airlines

Southwest heading back to Belize City, Nassau, Grand Cayman, and Providenciales

Southwest intends to resume services to all of its previously served international destinations by November 7, 2021. The airline is already flying to several destinations in the Caribbean and Central America. In addition, services to Belize City (BZE) will resume on November 7, services to Grand Cayman (GCM), Nassau (NAS), and Providenciales (PLS) will resume on October 7.

Flights to Grand Cayman, Nassau, and Providenciales will operate daily to and from Fort Lauderdale (FLL). Commencing November 7, Southwest Airlines will resume flights between Fort Lauderdale and Cancun (CUN) and Montego Bay (MBJ). These flights will also operate daily.

But it is not all about Fort Lauderdale. Houston also sees an international service resume. Southwest’s service to Belize City will fly daily from Houston’s Hobby Airport (HOU). Flights between Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Cancun will commence on November 7. This is a seasonal service, complementing Southwest’s existing Cancun from Chicago Midway (MDW), and will operate over the upcoming northern winter.

This winter, Southwest will offer more flights from more airports in chilly Chicago down to Cancun. Photo: Southwest Airlines

Cancun is getting a lot of love from Southwest Airlines. The airline says they’ll fly to Cancun from 17 airports across the United States this upcoming winter. That also includes a Saturday only service from Kansas City (MCI), beginning November 13.

Other new Saturday only international services include flights between Denver (DEN) and Liberia (LIR), Costa Rica, flights between St Louis (STL) and San Juan (SJU), Puerto Rico, and flights between Buffalo/Niagara Falls (BUF) and San Juan. All of these flights will kick off on November 13.

Southwest expands its footprint across the United States

At the same time, Southwest Airlines is significantly expanding its footprint across the United States. Beginning November 14, the airline will start flying three times a day between Baltimore/Washington (BWI) and Syracuse (SYR).

“Our latest destination in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York not only allows New Yorkers easier access to our growing network but brings the offerings of Upstate New York to our existing customers,” says Southwest’s Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Watterson.

From November 7, Bellingham (BLI) will start hosting Southwest flights from Las Vegas (LAS) and Oakland (OAK). The Las Vegas flights will operate daily, while the Oakland flights will run twice daily. Southwest Airlines hopes their new Bellingham services will prove a hit with travelers heading to southern British Columbia.

Southwest Airlines is increasing its footprint across the United States. Photo: Southwest Airlines

Southwest had previously announced it was ramping up its flights to Hawaii from Los Angeles (LAX), Las Vegas, and Phoenix (PHX). On Thursday, the airline also added a new flight between Sacramento (SMF) and Kona (KOA) on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, starting December 19.

Sacramento will also see a new daily Southwest service to Palm Springs (PSP) from October 7. From November 7, the airline will also connect Palm Springs to Dallas Love Field (DAL) with a weekly Sunday service (with additional services during peak periods). Over east, Reagan National Airport (DCA) will see daily Southwest services to Sarasota (SRQ) from November 7. On the same day, five day a week services between Sarasota and New York’s La Guardia Airport (LGA) will kick-off.

Southwest Airlines says these destinations are proving popular, and the new flights are all about offering their passengers easier access and more choices. Either way, November is going to be a big month at Southwest.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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