Discount airline NewLeaf has been absorbed by Flair Airlines.
The two companies had been linked since the launch of NewLeaf, with Flair providing the actual flights and NewLeaf selling tickets.
“The plan always was for the two companies to come together and become one at some point,” Chris Lapointe, Flair’s VP of commercial operations said. “A couple months ago, NewLeaf approached us and asked us if we’d consider taking a look at that. We see great potential. NewLeaf has done a great job of beginning to prove there is a market for the low-cost airline model.”
The company will now be based in Kelowna instead of Winnipeg.
“We’ve been successful in attracting about 85 per cent of the NewLeaf staff in Winnipeg and they will become Flair employees,” Lapointe said.
“We’re going to take those people, the great team and processes and technology, and fold it into the commercial department here at Flair.”
Lapointe said everybody at NewLeaf was offered a job at Flair.
The company has operated roughly 2,200 flights since launching last year. Flair hopes to expand its five-plane fleet and add more destinations to the schedule in the near future.
Lapointe also noted that the move won’t impact anyone with tickets for an upcoming flight.
“The same people and technology that took the reservation is still in place, all the bookings are the same, it’s business as usual. There was some pushback around ticket resellers, and that’s all going to go away. We’re going to be just like any other airline in Canada, selling directly to the consumer the lowest fares possible.”
As for what the new combined company will be called, Lapointe said a decision on that will be made in 90 days.