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Flair adds Victoria-to-Vegas flight to winter schedule

The Edmonton-based discount airline will add the Las Vegas flights starting Feb. 16, with an introductory one-way price of $39
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Flair Airlines is bringing a Victoria-to-Las Vegas flight to the capital. FLAIR AIRLINES

Capital region residents ­looking for a break from winter weather will have a new option after Flair Airlines announced two weekly departures from ­Victoria to Las Vegas starting in ­mid-February.

The Edmonton-based discount airline, which has been flying out of Victoria since 2018, will add the Las Vegas flights starting Feb. 16, with an introductory one-way price of $39, including taxes and fees.

The low fare is intended to promote the route, and will be in effect for a short period, said chief executive Stephen Jones. “As demand increases and as you get closer to the day of travel, the fares naturally become more expensive.”

Flair already offers flights from Victoria to Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa.

Garth Lund, Flair’s chief ­commercial officer, said if the Las Vegas route proves to be popular, the company could expand to include other sunny destinations. “Victoria is an important market for us and one we’d like to keep growing as we move forward,” he said.

Geoff Dickson, chief executive of Victoria International Airport, called the Las Vegas flights a “natural addition” for the winter season for Flair, which offered non-stop summer service to five Canadian destinations,

Flair announced several new routes from airports across the country to Cancun, Las Vegas, and Orlando-Sanford in its new winter schedule

Jones said Flair has been cruising so far this summer, after negotiating turbulence carried over from the pandemic recovery period.

He told reporters on Tuesday that Flair has been averaging 90 per cent loads over the last four months.

However, the Canadian Transportation Agency noted Flair had the highest number of complaints per 100 flights of all the major airlines in Canada over the last year.

The agency said Flair was the subject of an average of 15.3 complaints per 100 flights between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023 as all airlines dealt with delays and cancelled flights as they tried to recover from the pandemic period.

Flair also had four of its leased planes seized in March due to overdue payments, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

Jones told reporters the airline has since made significant investments, including adding a dedicated team in Montreal to handle CTA complaints. He said cases are now being resolved within a week rather than in months. Jones also noted that the airline was the subject of 224 complaints at the CTA level, while its competitors, who fly more often and on more routes, had anywhere from 880 to 3,200 complaints.

“In absolute terms, we had the least number of complaints,” he said. “The complaint handling time is way down. We’re working to try and stop complaints getting to the CTA by resolving them ahead of time. We take the customer-service side of our business really seriously. Low fares shouldn’t be associated with low service.”

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