EDMONTON, CANADA — For the first time since October, a Flair Airlines plane took off from Saint John, marking the ultra-low-cost carrier's return to the city's airport on Tuesday. The revival of its service precedes the summer travel season.

Lori Carle, the airport's marketing, public, and corporate relations manager, mentioned that Flair's return offers more options for local residents.

Carle emphasized the importance of having choices for travelers from smaller regions seeking connections to larger cities. Flair will operate three round-trip flights from Saint John until at least October.

In recent times, Air Canada has been the only passenger airline at the airport. Carle expects the company to ramp up its operations this summer, offering up to five daily flights.

Carle acknowledged the high demand for flights from the business community, students, and families going on vacation. Flair's comeback follows the seizure of four of its aircraft over a "commercial dispute" with a U.S.-based lessor, which led to flight cancellations.

Carle expressed confidence in Flair, citing the airline's transparency. The VP of scheduling contacted the airport's CEO to confirm their commitment to Saint John.

In a Global News interview, Eric Tanner, Flair Airlines' VP of network planning and revenue management, stated that the cancellations were likely a one-off event.

An expert, John Gradek from McGill University, suggested that Flair might increase fares after an "introductory" phase, and travelers should be prepared for potential cancellations.

Tanner explained that this year marks Flair's third summer season in Saint John, with an increase in trips due to previous demand for low-cost routes.

He mentioned that capacity constraints at Toronto Pearson International Airport could make it challenging to continue service during the winter. However, Tanner's current focus is on adding weekly frequencies to existing flights in the Saint John market.

Carle said they are always exploring opportunities to expand service availability in Saint John, engaging in discussions with current and potential carriers.