The discount airline initiated the service on June 18 with twice-weekly trips; the final flights will be on Sept. 6
Flair Airlines is cancelling its Kamloops to Edmonton route after the Sept. 6 flights between the two cities.
The Edmonton-based discount airline initiated the service on June 18 with twice-weekly flights between Kamloops and Edmonton, but the Boeing 737 Max-8 planes that seat 189 passengers have been about half-full, on average. The flights were the first between the two cities since WestJet’s short-lived trial run in 2021, which lasted less than a year.
KTW contacted Flair Airlines after learning about no flights available to be booked on its website after Sept. 6.
“This is confirmed,” a Flair communications spokesperson told KTW about the pending end to the flights.
“Flair continuously reviews the performance of its routes. The demand between other cities exceeds that of Kamloops and Edmonton, unfortunately, despite our expectations and effort.”
In February, Flair announced it would offer thrice-weekly service between the cities, beginning in June. At a May 25 press conference, the company announced a revision to that schedule, with twice-weekly flights.
At that press conference, Kamloops Airport managing director Ed Ratuski told KTW the airport sees about 100 passengers travelling each way daily between Kamloops and Edmonton via connecting flights.
At that same press conference, Flair chief financial officer Garth Lund said he believed that as awareness grew, flights would fill up.
Eric Tanner, Flair Airlines’ vice-president of revenue management and network planning, said every route needs to earn its way into the Flair network.
“The airplanes can always be taken somewhere else, so you can never make promises on a route,” Tanner said at the time. “That said, the fundamentals are here. This is a market that we know can work really well for us. Our job is to make sure customers know the flight’s there.”
Tanner said Flair’s low-cost business model depended on filling planes to capacity as the airline makes half of its revenue on ancillary purchases by customers.
In March, four Flair Airlines planes were seized by Airborne Capital for alleged missed lease payments worth millions of dollars, leading to 12 flights being cancelled. The airline has since sued the company for $50 million over the seizures.
With Flair deciding to pull the plug on its Kamloops to Edmonton route, Kamloops Airport is left with multiple daily WestJet flights to Calgary and multiple daily Air Canada flights to Vancouver.
Beginning on Oct. 17, Pacific Coastal Airlines plans to offer a direct flight to and from Victoria, six days per week (not on Saturdays), using Beechcraft 1900 aircraft, which seat 19 passengers.
The service will be available on a seasonal basis, providing travellers with access between the two cities between October 17, 2023, and April 26, 2024.