Airline says it is committed to Region of Waterloo International Airport
JEFF OUTHIT IS A WATERLOO REGION-BASED GENERAL ASSIGNMENT REPORTER FOR THE RECORD. REACH HIM VIA EMAIL: JOUTHIT@THERECORD.COM
Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Flair Airlines has stopped KitchenerMontreal flights “for the time being” and is refunding tickets already booked. “Flair is committed to Waterloo and travellers in the region,” the budget airline said in a statement. “Many of Flair’s destinations have been well-received by the region.” The Edmonton-based airline did not provide a reason for cancelling a route it announced last May in a joint news release with the Region of Waterloo, which has provided Flair with more than $300,000 in subsidies and has tied a $35-million terminal expansion to the airline. The airline said “it will continue to invest in existing high-performing routes and expand to new regions travellers in the area want to visit. Flair is eager to hear from the community what destinations they’d like to see the airline expand to.” The airline’s website shows no flights between Kitchener and Montreal until late March. The Region of Waterloo International airport in Breslau had its busiest year in 2022 with just under 400,000 passengers. Five out of six passengers at the airport this year have flown on Flair, according to the airline. The latest airport forecast is for 600,000 passengers this year. Flair said it still intends to base a third jetliner at the regional airport this spring, a decision it announced almost a year ago and then delayed. This would bring another 50 airlinerelated jobs to the airport. Flair said it serves 13 destinations from Kitchener across Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The Montreal route was announced last May with a launch in July. The airline apologized last month for cancelling 27 flights over eight days. It blamed maintenance. Problems began Nov. 25 after a Flair jet with 140 people on board ran 150 metres off the end of the runway and stopped in the mud at the regional airport. No one was hurt. According to a federal safety agency: “Following touchdown, the flight crew encountered some directional control issues, and the aircraft did not decelerate as expected … There was some minor damage observed on the left engine of the plane, however there was no observed damage to the landing gear.” A safety investigation continues.