Young said the fledgling airline had been seeing huge demand and had thousands of bookings.
“We want to get back in the air”.
What’s the hold-up? The Canadian Transportation Agency is reviewing the aviation licensing regulations.
The CTA is reviewing whether indirect air service providers, such as NewLeaf, should be required to hold its own agency licence.
Under a charter arrangement with Kelowna-based Flair Airlines Ltd., Flair held the CTA operating licence, while NewLeaf offered seat sales.
“They’ve given us an exemption while they’re conducting the review, but we don’t really know what’s going to happen when the review is completed”, said Young.
“Now, there is ambiguity in the air as to whether we need to amend the relationship with our service provider or whether we need to have a licence ourselves”.
Young said thousands of people booked flights on NewLeaf’s website when ticket sales began. Under that model, the fare paid by a customer ensures a seat on the aircraft.
“By giving everybody more than 28 days from our first flight the chance to make other arrangements, we wanted to serve the community best, so that’s why we’re doing it”, said NewLeaf president Jim Young.
It was offering flights to seven Canadian cities, Abbotsford, B.C., Halifax, Hamilton, Kelowna, B.C., Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg. Flights to American destinations such as Las Vegas, Florida and California and to the Caribbean will be added later.
The release goes on to say, “the review applies to all persons operating in this manner and is not limited to NewLeaf’s proposed business venture with Flair Airlines Ltd”. Consultations end on January 22 and comments can be submitted online.
Canada’s new low-priced airline is already hitting a snag right out of the gate.
Newleaf Travel has postponed its service, which was expected to begin operations in February while they wait to hear back from the Canadian Transportation Agency on licensing. We look forward to welcoming NewLeaf service upon completion of this process.
“Canadians have clearly spoken that they want this type of low-priced service”.