Flair Airlines retains license to fly in Canada
Flair Airlines Ltd., a low-cost Canadian airline, is in talks to go public through a merger with New Vista Acquisition Corp., a blank check-firm backed by a former Boeing Co. chief executive officer, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
New Vista may seek to raise additional financing to support a transaction, said one of the people, all of whom requested anonymity in order to discuss private information. The special purpose acquisition company is led by Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s CEO from 2015 to 2019.
A deal hasn’t been finalized and it’s possible talks could collapse. Spokespeople for New Vista and Flair declined to comment.
New Vista raised US$276 million in a February 2021 initial public offering, saying that it planned to find a target in the space, defense and communications sector or the advanced air mobility and logistics industries.
Canada doesn’t allow foreign investors to control airlines. Flair, which received financing from 777 Partners LLC, was forced to overhaul its structure to lessen the influence of the Miami-based investment firm. Canada’s transport agency ruled in June that Flair does meet domestic ownership requirements, allowing it to continue operating flights.
Edmonton, Alberta-based Flair Airlines, led by CEO Stephen Jones, offers cheap flights on domestic routes across Canada and to international destinations including San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York and Cancun, Mexico. It aims to serve over 35 cities in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, according to its website.
Muilenburg was ousted as Boeing’s CEO in late 2019 after fumbling the planemaker’s response to two deadly 737 Max accidents.