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Former Flair plane sitting at Waterloo Region airport

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Four Flair planes were seized last March because the airline was behind on payments to its plane rental company and one of them is currently sitting at the Region of Waterloo International Airport.

The plane was seen parked on the tarmac on Monday.

While the name of the airline had been painted over, the exterior colours remain those of Flair Airlines.

In an email to CTV News, Airport Director Chris Wood confirmed it was one of the four seized last March. Two other planes, he said, went to Ethiopian Airlines within the last month. Wood couldn’t provide any further details, including how long the plane had been there, who’s paying for or owns the aircraft.

CTV News has also reached out to Flair Airlines for comment.

A former Flair Airlines plane at the Region of Waterloo International Airport on Feb. 26, 2024. (Dave Pettitt/CTV Kitchener)

Bailiffs repossessed the Boeing 737 jets on March 11, 2023 in response to overdue payments at airports in Toronto, Edmonton and Waterloo Region. Multiple flights had to be cancelled and, as a result, passengers were left scrambling to rebook with other airlines.

Flair then launched a $50 million court action against Airborne Capital, a New York-based hedge fund, and three other leasing firms.

The airline argued that payment claims were “baseless.”

In January 2024, court documents showed Flair Airlines also owed the federal government $67.2 million in unpaid taxes. CEO Stephen Jones said it was related to import duties on 20 Boeing 737 Max jetliners. He added that the company has a “mutually agreed-upon payment plan” with the Canada Revenue Agency and it will have no impact on the carrier’s operations.

- With reporting by CTV’s Stefanie Davis and files from The Canadian Press

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