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Flair Airlines Announces Boeing 737 MAX Order
Canada’s independent ultra-low-cost carrier, Flair Airlines, has announced an order for thirteen new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The order is the first by a North American carrier since the troubled aircraft received clearance to return to the skies in the United States and Canada.
The 737 MAX was grounded around the world for two years due to two crashes caused by one of the aircraft’s systems. The aircraft received clearance to fly in the United States in November last year and clearance in Canada earlier this month.
High Capacity, Low-Cost Aircraft
The order will see the MAX aircraft join the three Boeing 737-800 that the airline already operates. The new planes will be configured with 189 seats in an all-economy layout. The airline will join Air Canada and Westjet in operating the Boeing 737 MAX in Canada. Westjet has already resumed passenger flights with the aircraft, while Air Canada plans to resume flights on February 1.
The thirteen aircraft will be leased from Flair Airlines’ financing partner, 777 Partners. The group has an order for 24 737 MAX aircraft with the option to order an additional 60 aircraft. Flair has been in operations in Canada since 2005, and in 2017 acquired virtual airline NewLeaf.
Since then, the airline has been operating as one of Canada’s two independent ultra-low-cost-carriers, the other being Westjet owned, Swoop Airlines. Flair operates a domestic network with hubs in Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Toronto with flights across the country. The fuel savings from the new aircraft will help the airline continue to offer low fares to its customers.
A Bright Spot For Boeing
The order is a bright spot for Boeing in a dark two-year period. Since the MAX was grounded around the world, the manufacturer has seen nearly 1,000 orders be cancelled. The crashes and subsequent investigations have eroded the public’s trust in not only the aircraft, but also the manufacturer. Airlines who are returning the aircraft into service have been running publicity campaigns to help build the public’s trust in the aircraft.
As of publishing, the MAX has been cleared to resume flying in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Mexico. In addition, the aircraft was recently cleared to resume flying in Europe by the EASA and the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority. However, the aircraft is still grounded in China. Two years ago the Chinese aviation authority became the first in the world to ground the 737 MAX.
The new 737 MAX for Flair will provide the airline the opportunity for the airline to grow once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides. The airline has the ambition to operate 50 aircraft within 5 years. The addition of the MAX will bring the total number of aircraft in the fleet up to 18. According to the airline, deliveries will start in the first quarter of 2021.
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