Flair Airlines has filed a $50-million lawsuit against the leasing firms that seized four of its planes late last week and following a statement from one lessor that the airline had repeatedly missed payments over the course of recent months.
The statement of claim, obtained by Global News, alleges the repossession of the planes was unlawful, invalid and non-compliant with the lease’s agreements. It demands the return of the aircraft to Flair and for the lessors to continue leasing them to the airline in accordance with its lease agreement.
Finally, it claims $50 million in damages “for breach of contract, breach of duty of good faith in contractual performance, negligent and/or fraudulent misrepresentation, wrongful seizure, conversion, and conspiracy.”
While Flair claims the seizure of the planes, which caused cancelled flights, was not warranted, its lessor, Airborne Capital, said Tuesday that the airline was millions behind in payments and the move was justified.
In the claim that was filed in Ontario Superior Court, Flair says that after paying millions in lease payments, the lessors “found a better deal leasing or selling the aircraft to a third party.”
The lessors — Columba Lights Aviation Ltd., Corvus Lights Aviation Ltd., and MAM Aircraft Leasing 4, all based in Ireland and which Airborne manages — then set up Flair for a technical default, terminated the leases and seized the aircraft on a “pretense of relatively insignificant amounts,” the airline alleges. Flair says it made an agreement to pay the lessors in a matter of days, which was agreed to, but at around 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, the aircraft were seized.
“The seizures were orchestrated in a bad faith and malicious manner that inflicted the maximum possible harm on Flair, including by interfering with its passenger relationships and trust,” the claim reads.
“The Lessors sent agents to seize the Aircraft in the middle of the night as passengers were boarding planes for spring break vacations.”
Flair then says that another company, which it calls ABC Corporation in the filing, agreed to purchase or lease the aircraft from the lessors. Flair says it does not know the identity of the company, but it is known to the lessors.
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.