The Irish leasing company which had four of Flair Airlines’ planes seized for nonpayment blasted the airline’s suggestion it had done so in collaboration with the Canadian airline’s bigger competitors, and said it had only seized the planes as a last resort.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Airborne Capital shot back at the suggestions from Flair CEO Stephen Jones.
“Airborne Capital strongly rejects the allegations that have been made by Flair Airlines in recent days,” an Airborne spokesperson said in a written statement.
The statement from an Airborne spokesperson said the company only seized the four planes after five months of repeated missed payments by Flair. The most recent payment of roughly a million dollars was the last straw, the spokesperson said.
“Terminating an aircraft lease is always a last resort, and such a decision is never taken lightly. In this case, following numerous notices to Flair, it again failed to make payments when due and Airborne took steps to terminate the leasing of the aircraft,” said the spokesperson.
On Monday, Flair CEO Stephen Jones said Airborne had been negotiating with one of Flair’s competitors before the seizure.
“We do believe that there were negotiations going on behind the scenes between one of the majors and the lessor to hurt Flair, by them offering probably above-market rates for the aircraft,” Jones said.
The four airplanes were seized from airports in Toronto, Edmonton and Waterloo on Saturday morning.
A spokesperson for Flair said Tuesday that the airline has already lined up replacements for the seized jets, and denied that the airline was in financial trouble.
“Let’s put this in perspective. A million dollars is half of one day’s revenue,” said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson acknowledged that bookings for future flights took a hit in the immediate aftermath of the seizure, but said that appeared to be a temporary blip.
“They’re already coming back up,” said the spokesperson.
More to come . . .
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