EDMONTON, CANADA — Flair Airlines boosts fleet with two additional Boeing 737 MAXs despite previous lessor dispute.

On Wednesday, Canadian airline operator Flair Airlines announced it is leasing two additional Boeing 737 MAX jets to accommodate increasing travel demand. This decision follows the Canadian budget airline's loss of access to four planes earlier this year due to a disagreement with another lessor.

Flair, a privately-owned small airline, is acquiring the planes via a sale-leaseback agreement with SMBC Aviation Capital, the world's second-largest aircraft lessor. The aircraft will begin operating this summer, as confirmed by a company spokesperson.

Even though Flair managed to secure MAX planes from Boeing Co at an advantageous price in 2021, shortly after they resumed service post two crashes, Flair's CEO Stephen Jones noted that MAX prices have returned to their pre-2019 grounding levels.

Boeing and its European competitor Airbus SE are escalating the production of narrowbody jets to fulfill the soaring travel demand. Jones acknowledged that pricing has once again become firm.

In May, after settling a pricing dispute, Ryanair, based in Ireland, placed a substantial order for Boeing MAX.

Jones emphasized that the agreement signifies Flair's credibility in the eyes of a major global leasing company. This comes after the ultra-low-cost airline lost access to four aircraft in March due to a business conflict with a New York-based hedge fund and aircraft lessor.

Jones expressed his disappointment and surprise over the actions taken.

Airborne Capital, the lessor, stated that the aircraft deal was terminated following a five-month duration where Flair persistently defaulted on its lease payments, with the payment arrears amounting to millions of dollars.

The case is now in court. With the addition of these two planes, Flair will operate a fleet of 21 jets.

Jones anticipates robust summer travel in Canada, with the seat capacity expected to surpass 2019 levels due to the entry of new competitors.