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Low-cost Lynx Air grounded permanently, flights to cease effective Monday

Airline blames inflation, fuel costs, exchange rates, cost of capital, regulatory costs, competition

Come Monday, Canadian travellers booked with the ultra-low-cost airline Lynx Air will be out of luck and its employees out of work.

Officials with the Calgary-based company announced Thursday evening that it is ceasing operations, effective 12:01 a.m. MT on Feb. 26, after filing for creditor protection.

Lynx Air has advised passengers with existing bookings to contact their credit card company to secure refunds for pre-booked travel.

The airline said it was unable to overcome compounding financial pressures associated with inflation, fuel costs, exchange rates, cost of capital, regulatory costs and competition in the Canadian market.

“It is with a heavy heart we leave the skies,” Lynx said in a statement on its website.

“We hope in our absence that our vision to inspire more Canadians to fly leaves its mark on our passengers.”

WestJet said it was ready to help mitigate some of the issues for travellers. The airline said it will offer discounted fares for stranded domestic travellers and capped fares for Canadian repatriation flights on non-stop WestJet routes previously served by Lynx.

All economy cabin fares that meet that criteria are eligible for a 25 per cent discount between Feb. 22 and Oct. 26, as long as the booking is made by next Thursday.

For transborder repatriation flights, WestJet said it would cap fares at $250 plus taxes and fees on all northbound economy cabin fares until Feb. 29. All domestic fares on non-stop WestJet routes previously served by Lynx are also capped at $500 plus taxes and fees.

“We are communicating closely with government officials and supporting agencies that are also working to address the needs of those impacted,” WestJet said in a statement.

On Friday morning, Toronto Pearson International Airport said passengers flying on Lynx Air were able to check in and flights were departing as scheduled.

Beyond the immediate impact to be felt by travellers, the Air Line Pilots Association International said 160 pilots and flight crew will be affected.

Duncan Dee, the former chief operating officer at Air Canada, issued a statement on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, calling it a “very sad day for Canada’s airline community” and the communities Lynx served.

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