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Aviation Blog

Flair Airlines Delays The Launch Of Tucson Flights – Simple Flying

Due to supply chain disruptions, Flair has had to delay the launch of its Lethbridge-Tucson route until next December.
On November 16th, Flair Airlines informed its customers that it would not be servicing its newest scheduled route connecting Alberta's Lethbridge Airport (YQL) and Arizona's Tucson International Airport (TUS). The inaugural flight for the highly anticipated route was scheduled to take place on December 1st. Due to a lack of needed equipment and infrastructure at YQL, the airline has had to postpone the route commencement until December 2023.
The residents of Lethbridge highly anticipated the route in question as it would offer leisure travelers a non-stop flight to a warm and sunny tourist destination during the cold Canadian winter. Unfortunately, due to supply chain issues, the airport has been unable to acquire the necessary equipment to support Flair's operations. One of the most notable pieces of equipment needed to support the operation at YQL is a ramp allowing passengers to board the airplane. Mobility-restricted passengers would also be able to board with the ramp.
Despite these setbacks, the airport and airline have made significant steps towards creating the route. The involved parties believe this is the first step in expanding air transit services to and from Lethbridge. The airport says it will acquire all the needed equipment in the coming months, ensuring that the route will be operational next winter. The Chief Commercial Officer for Flair Airlines, Garth Lund, shared the airline's commitment to launching this route. Lund stated,
"We'll absolutely make sure that this does happen for next winter and Flair Airlines will be serving Lethbridge. Flair Airlines absolutely remains committed to the Lethbridge market,"
Despite the setback, local officials remain optimistic about the route and have expressed gratitude for all the work done so far by everyone involved. The Director of Corporate of Customer and Commercial Services for the City of Lethbridge, Jason Elliott, said,
"To this point this has been nothing short of a monumental effort by all partners, the City of Lethbridge, Flair Airlines, all the airport staff, our contractors and certainly our other partners in the industry as well, so I want to thank everyone for getting us to this point and we do look forward to the ongoing partnership that will see us be successful in the season of 2023,"
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The decision to postpone the route was not easy for Flair as so much work had already gone into preparing the airport for the service. The airline sees the route as being a profitable venture and waited until the very last minute before deciding to postpone the route launch. It sent the official cancelation notice to passengers who had already booked their tickets for the inaugural flight precisely two weeks before the flight, which is the minimum time required to inform passengers of the route cancelation.
Lund reassured the public that the cancelation is not a demand issue as the route has plenty of demand from residents. The problem resides in the supply chain, which has prevented the airport from acquiring all the necessary equipment. Flair is looking to launch the service next winter, even if the equipment arrives in the next few months because it anticipates that the highest demand levels will come during the winter.
Flair Comment
A spokesperson for Flair told Simple Flying,
"The initial route from the airport was Tucson — as part of a winter base strategy where Flair is flying to the Arizona city from London, Ontario, Windsor, Edmonton, Ft. McMurray and Prince George. The airline is excited to bring service to Lethbridge. However, for now, there are no plans to announce expanded service. The airline looks forward to the service launches later this month to Tucson from the other cities and Lethbridge next year."
What do you think of this year-long flight delay? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Lethbridge Herald
Journalist – Studying to become an airline pilot, Riley has a lifelong passion for aviation. He already has his private pilot certificate alongside an instrument rating. Based in The United States

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