Kelowna’s Flair Airlines has spent an undisclosed amount to buy NewLeaf Travel Co., which is a discount flight-seller for trips between five cities, including Abbotsford.
Flair had partnered with NewLeaf to fly the flights that NewLeaf sold tickets for since NewLeaf launched in July 2016.
The fledgling flight-ticket-seller had planned to launch flights to 12 Canadian airports, including five in B.C.: Abbotsford, Kelowna, Kamloops, Fort St. John and Victoria.
Flights never launched to Fort St. John, however, and the only current NewLeaf flights in B.C. are to Abbotsford.
“We’re looking at releasing our late summer and fall schedule as early as next week,” Flair Airlines director of communications Julie Rempel told Business in Vancouver June 7.
“The idea is growth and expansion so we’re looking at all options.”
The NewLeaf-Flair partnership has transported more than 250,000 passengers on more than 2,200 flights, according to Flair.
“This acquisition will build on the strengths of both companies and now we are truly committed to providing the lowest possible fares as Canada’s newest national airline,” said Flair’s president Jim Rogers in a release.
Demand for low-cost airfares and the global trend of low-cost carriers has prompted multiple ventures in Canada that have tried to get off the ground.
In addition to the Flair-NewLeaf partnership, WestJet has announced plans to launch a secondary, low-cost carrier. It plans to release the name of that carrier in the next couple weeks, WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky told the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade last week.
Canada Jetlines also plans to launch flights and be an ultra-low-cost carrier.