Lynx Air to cease operations Monday, files for creditor protection

Click to play video: 'Lynx grounds itself after 2 years as a low cost discount carrier'
Lynx grounds itself after 2 years as a low cost discount carrier
WATCH: The Calgary-based airline has filed for protection from creditors and will continue until Sunday at midnight. But already some flights are being cancelled and passengers are busy making new plans. Doug Vaessen has more. – Feb 23, 2024

LATEST INFORMATION: Lynx Air is shutting down. Here is what to know if you have tickets booked with the airline.

Lynx Air says its final flights will take place on Sunday as the company files for creditor protection, less than two years after the low-cost airline took to the skies.

The Calgary-based company announced in a news release on Thursday it has sought and obtained an initial order of protection from creditors from the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta, under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

As of 12:01 a.m. MT on Monday, Feb. 26, Lynx Air says its operations will cease, with scheduled flights continuing to operate until that time.

The company says it has faced “significant headwinds” in the past year, including rising operating costs, high fuel prices, exchange rates, increasing airport charges and a difficult economic and regulatory environment.

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Click to play video: 'Calgary couple calls out Lynx Air after luggage redirected to different province'
Calgary couple calls out Lynx Air after luggage redirected to different province

In the release, the company touts that it has grown its fleet and number of destinations while doubling its passenger volume in the past two years. Despite that growth, and efforts to explore a sale or merger, Lynx Air said the challenges facing the company’s business “have become too significant to overcome.”

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“This is a difficult day for everyone at Lynx Air and we recognize it’s an exceptionally difficult day for our loyal customers,” a spokesperson for Lynx said in a statement to Global News.

The company added that efforts are being made to assist passengers affected by the move, with those who have existing bookings advised to contact their credit card company to secure refunds for pre-booked travel.

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has published guidance for Lynx Air passengers, including contact information for government agencies in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia that can help secure refunds from travel agencies registered in those provinces.

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The CTA said stranded passengers or those with tickets for future travel with Lynx should contact their travel agents or providers for alternate travel arrangements, but said those passengers may have to make those arrangements on their own.

Click to play video: '1st Lynx Air flight just the latest step for Calgary’s aviation sector'
1st Lynx Air flight just the latest step for Calgary’s aviation sector

However, Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez said in a statement he expects Lynx Air to get stranded passengers back home as soon as possible, and to provide refunds if fares cannot be honoured.

He added his office is in contact with other airlines to see how they can help, “to ensure that passengers are put first.”

“I’m thinking of the Canadian travellers and workers affected by this news, their families, and the communities across Canada who will feel the impact of this,” Rodriguez’s statement said.

The airline employs 160 pilots and flight crew members, according to the Air Line Pilots Association union.

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Lou Arab, communications representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), said the union was “devastated” for their members impacted by Thursday’s announcement but will fight for them.

“We’ll make sure our members receive anything the company is legally obligated to provide,that might include severance and back pay on a case-by-case basis,” he said in an interview with Global News. “We will fight to ensure that employees get everything they’re legally entitled to.”

CUPE represents 240 flight attendants at Lynx, Arab said.

Sunday’s final flight will come less than two years after the company made its inaugural flight on April 7, 2022, becoming the latest low-cost airline to join an already crowded market in Canada.

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