Flair Airlines addresses latest increase in flight cancellations at YKF airport

By James Sebastian-Scott

Flair Airlines have had to cancel 27 flights from the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) in about a week. 

Three aircraft had to be taken out of service due to a number of maintenance issues. 

One of those aircraft was the one involved in the runway overrun incident that happened two weeks ago where a Flair Airlines flight coming from Vancouver overshot the runway and landed in the field at the end of the runway. 

Stephen Jones is the President and CEO of Flair Airlines and he said Tuesday afternoon that because of those aircraft being taken out of service, it created pressure on the flight schedule out of the region's airport. 

“We've experienced 27 flight cancellations over the last week or so,” said Jones, “we've experienced these cancellations due to a series of issues that have followed on from the runway excursion in Kitchener.”

Jones said that there were three aircraft out of service out of the 19 that are in the fleet.

“Losing three of the fleet for a series of different issues has meant we've had real struggles to cover the flying that we got on the schedule,” said Jones. 

Aircraft 802, involved in the runway overrun, was the first aircraft taken out of service. 

“As you'll be aware, that aircraft was recovered, taken and serviced in the Kitchener hangar,” he said, “last Friday it was flown to Calgary where it still has to undergo work. We are waiting on a part from Boeing and that aircraft will be back in service fully on Friday.” 

Jones said two other issues involving aircraft were going on at the same time as aircraft 802 being taken out of service. 

“Our ability to cover for the aircraft out of service was really hampered by two other issues going on at the same time,” said Jones, “one was a planned maintenance issue which all the aircraft go through a series of structured maintenance checks.”

The planned maintenance was something called a “C” check – which was scheduled during this time. 

“That aircraft was also out of service being repaired in the U.S.,” he said, “that is back in service now. We also had another aircraft which had an issue with the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), and we hit a servicing timeline problem with that. The piece required on that also took some time. That aircraft is back in the air and I can confirm that we will back fully on our schedule from Kitchener when Flight 814 from Calgary arrives Wednesday. We're restoring service today but fully back in service Wednesday,” he said. 

Jones took a moment to apologize to Flair's customers for the 27 flight cancellations due to the three aircraft being taken out of service. 

“Clearly, these 27 flights have impacted a lot of our customers, particularly focused in Kitchener. I wanted to take this time to apologize to each one of them unreservedly. You are the lifeblood of our business and you are what we are here for,” said Jones, “to not be able to deliver that service in the way we have promised and contracted to you is deeply disappointing to me, as I'm sure it is to you, and we are doing everything we can to make that right.” 

Jones said that all the cancellations had at least 12 hours of notice and many of them had in excess of 24 hours. 

“For people planning those trips for a very long time, that is a very short amount of notice and we apologize for the disruption this has caused,” said Jones. 

Jones said he is looking forward to getting back everything back to full schedule and delivering on Flair's promise to customers once again. 

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