Flair Airlines May Be Grounded Over Foreign Control Issues

Budget carrier Flair Airlines could be shut down on May 3 by the Canadian Transportation Agency’s apparent determination that an American company is pulling the strings there. Canadian law requires that Canadian-based airlines be majority owned and controlled in Canada. In a preliminary finding by the CTA obtained by Global News, the agency says that while Canadians own 51 percent of the airline, as required, it’s an American company called 777 Partners that controls the operation. 777 owns all 13 aircraft and has a majority of representatives on the board of directors.

“After considering all of the facts together, the agency finds that 777’s influence over Flair is dominant and that 777, therefore, may have control in fact of Flair,” Global quoted the preliminary decision as saying. The CTA gave Flair until May 3 to prove that Canadians are in charge of the airline, which is based in Edmonton. If it can’t do that to the CTA’s satisfaction, it will be out of business, leaving thousands of passengers without flights. “Should Flair’s licences be suspended, Flair would be precluded from operating any flights,” the CTA told Global.