Flair Airlines (F8, Kelowna) is under further scrutiny after it could not process payment for tickets for five days last week and Canadian news outlets questioned the ULCC's ongoing financial viability.

Flair directed prospective passengers to online travel agencies to book tickets last week and stopped charging for ancillaries such as bags because they reportedly could not process payments. The carrier described the incident as a "service interruption." There are unconfirmed reports that Flair's payments processor terminated its agreement with the airline. However, the ability to book and pay for tickets via the carrier's portal has since been restored.

The still-unexplained outage generated further speculation about Flair's future, causing CEO Stephen Jones to issue a statement on March 21 refuting claims the carrier was under financial and operational stress.

"Flair is here to stay," he said. "I acknowledge the scepticism surrounding ULCCs in Canada given the market dominance of large carriers and the challenges newcomers face. However, I firmly believe that it is misplaced, and I want to assure all Canadians that Flair Airlines is steadfast in our confidence that the ULCC model has the potential to thrive in Canada."

Flair Airlines, which is partly owned by Miami-based private equity firm 777 Partners, operates a fleet of twenty Boeing narrowbodies (plus a single wet-leased A320-200) to 36 airports in five countries. Earlier this year, Jones put expansion plans on hold as it grappled with aircraft delivery delays and high debts.

Flair is now Canada's sole low-cost carrier after Lynx Air collapsed in February. Just before that happened, there were merger reports concerning the two airlines. Jones has said that since the Lynx shutdown, "the significance of Flair Airlines in the market has become even more pronounced."