FlairAir looks to the Okanagan for support as it spreads its wings

Flair builds momentum

FlairAir looks to the Okanagan for support as it spreads its wings

Inspired by airlines that have long since found success tapping into the ultra low cost model already in major cities around the globe, Kelowna-based Flair Airlines has plans to change the aviation industry in this country—and they’re looking for support from the Okanagan to do it.

“We are asking Kelowna to rally,” said Jim Scott, president and Chief Executive Officer of Flair Airline.

Not too many small communities get an airline based in their town, said Scott, who added that he hopes the community arrives at the conclusion that Flair is the only way to fly out of the Okanagan.

The airline, which currently flies out of Kelowna on daily trips to Edmonton and four days a week to Vancouver, offers cheap fares but few frills.

“There are no lounges, no giveaways—you buy a seat and a seat belt and everything else costs money,” said Scott. “We have extra leg room at the front, and vendors with brand name products you can buy…but the base price is very low.”

Research has found that it’s just what Milennials are looking for.

“As long as they have their device, a seat and it’s cheap and on time they’re happy,” he said.

To meet shifting expectations for communication, Flair Airlines website and apps are under construction. They will offer a new level of connectivity. And in the next six months they’re working on lowering their prices, so when a competitor tries to enter their corner of the market, they will be ready.

“How all airlines work is, if you want to fill extra seats you lower your price,” he said.

If we go into the market and we lower our prices they will put some inventory in, but they won’t put the whole plane at that rate. They look very competitive, but it’s called yielding up. What you get from the customer increases as there is less capacity on the airplane. We always want to ride below what they are charging—that’s our mantra.”

They also want to offer that low price-point with the best customer service.

“If they do price match, we want to have such great customer service that (people) choose our brand,” he said.

“We have a young team that’s used to doing charters…these are not the people who have long since decided they don’t want the job but they are stuck in it.”

Once the customer loyalty has been built the sky is the limit for the airline, as has been shown in other areas.

In Asia ultra low cost flying went from a very small percentage of the aviation industry to almost 50 per cent, and in Europe it’s been going for years. The US has three low cost airlines.

“In a healthy market, 15 per cent of your flying should be at a discount, but if it’s not, a certain number of people (because of) price barrier will not fly,” he said. “In Canada that’s estimated to be 10 million trips per year that are not being flown. That means there’s a market for an airline with at least 60 jets across Canada, to service that market and that’s what our intent is.”

That ambition should also aid Kelowna, he said, comparing it to Vegas.

It’s one of the few locations in North America where people want to go for a mini break, due to its reliable weather.

“If you have low prices how do you stimulate the market and have a market that can be stimulated?” he said, noting Kelowna is a market that can be stimulated and if it is, it’s bound to help the job market.

“For every 1,000 passengers who come in it creates 3.3 jobs,” said Scott. “Every plane that touches down is a job creator. We would like to draw people in from the US. There are 300 million people down there and with the US exchange … there’s skiing and the sun. Good value for them.”

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
Injured mountain biker rescued in West Kelowna

The mountain biker reportedly has a hip injury about 1 km up the Smith Creek Road trail

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Gord with a mom and her young son outside Pathways which was defunded on May 31. (Facebook)
Gord Portman with a mom and her child outside of Pathways. The sign says it all about the difference Pathways has made in people’s lives. They were defunded by Interior Health on May 31.
Penticton man takes the plunge for the recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Most Read