Lawyers representing lessors behind the March 2023 seizure and repossession of four Boeing narrowbodies placed at Flair Airlines (F8, Kelowna) have asked an Ontario court to dismiss the airline's lawsuit against them, according to Canada's Globe and Mail.

Flair has sued leasing special purpose vehicles (SPVs) Corvus Lights Aviation Limited, MAM Aircraft Leasing 4 (Ireland) Designated Activity Company, and Columba Lights Aviation Limited, and the four aircraft's ultimate owner and manager, Airborne Capital, alleging, among other things, breach of contract and wrongful seizure. At the time of the seizures, Flair was behind on lease payments. The LCC now seeks CAD51 million dollars (USD37.7 million) in damages.

The four aircraft involved in the matter include a B737-800 and three B737-8s, specifically C-FFLA (msn 36548), the B737-800 placed at Flair through Corvus Lights Aviation Limited; C-FLKD (msn 61806) and C-FLKI (msn 64944), two B737-8s leased to Flair via MAM Aircraft Leasing; and C-FLRS (msn 61808), the third B737-8 and placed to Flair through Columba Lights Aviation.

C-FLRS now flies for Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa International) as ET-BAT, while the other three aircraft are in storage in Canada. On February 14, 2024, appearing before the Toronto bench of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in the matter of Flair Airlines Ltd v. Columba Lights Aviation et al. (case no CV23006962430000), lawyers for the lessors called Flair's case "frivolous," and asked the judge to dismiss most of the airline's claims.

The [Flair] statement of claim alleges that the lessors breached the terms of the respective leases but fails to particularize what term or terms of the leases each of the lessors allegedly breached," the lessor's latest filing reads, according to the Globe and Mail. "In its current form, the [Flair lawsuit] may prejudice or delay the fair trial of this action, is scandalous, frivolous or vexatious, and/or is an abuse of process of the court."

The lessor's lawyers also said Flair had not filed a statement of defense as of February 12. Layers for Flair pushed back against the lessor's allegations, saying its filings abided by the court's schedules and adding that its current leases remained up-to-date. According to ch-aviation fleets data, Airborne Capital still has three B737-8s at Flair Airlines.

Separately, Flair Airlines CEO Stephen Jones has moved to hose down speculation that a CAD67 million (USD49.5 million) tax debt is a material threat to the airline's long-term viability.

"(Flair has) an arrangement with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and we are current with the CRA claim, and that's where it sits today," he told a media conference last week. "The CRA repayment has zero impact on any of our operations." In November 2023, the CRA obtained a court order permitting it to "seize and sell the real property or immovables and the personal property or movables" belonging to Flair. The CRA has not exercised the order.

“Our arrangement with the CRA has been in place for some months, but the headlines go straight to doom and gloom,” Jones said. “Aircraft would never have been seized and sold. Passengers can confidently book with Flair. We’ll be here delivering the same product we’ve been delivering successfully for years."