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Wednesday,  April 17, 2024 5:17 PM 

"Difficult news”: Lynx files for creditor protection, final flight set for Feb. 26

  • Air
  •   02-23-2024  1:01 am
  •   Pax Global Media

"Difficult news”: Lynx files for creditor protection, final flight set for Feb. 26
(supplied)
Pax Global Media

PAX has learned from an internal document shared with employees today (Feb. 22) that Lynx Air has filed for creditor protection from the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta.

In this document, the airline, which launched its first flight in April 2022, stated that it will cease operations at midnight, Monday, February 26, with flights continuing until then.

"Every effort is being made to assist passengers at this time,” the document states. “Passengers with existing bookings are advised to contact their credit card company to secure refunds for pre-booked travel." 

Difficult news

A memo prepared by Jim Sullivan, interim CEO, conveys challenging news to staff that despite ongoing efforts to secure investment for Lynx and support its growth toward profitability, sufficient funding could not be secured. 

"Unfortunately, we have been unable to secure adequate funding for the airline and today we filed for protection from our creditors under a CCAA filing," wrote Sullivan.

According to Sullivan, over the next three days, Lynx will continue to service customers, but will cease flight operations after the completion of Sunday's fight schedule.

Sullivan continued to explain that the outcome is a "terrible shock" and "not how our story was intended to play out." 

He clarified that the airline executed strategic plans over the past two years to enhance its brand, foster company growth, and explore new markets and destinations.

A transformational period

The memo highlights the airline's pivotal role in an industry that was undergoing a transformational period. 

Lynx initially developed its business case pre-COVID-19, and exceeded expectations upon the return of travellers to the skies once pandemic-related travel restrictions were lifted.

The airline cited the compounding financial pressures associated with inflation, fuel costs, exchange rates, cost of capital, regulatory costs and "competitive tension" in the Canadian market as challenges.

"I urge each of you to remain proud of what we built together In an exceptionally competitive industry, we started an airline from almost nothing and built it up to carry close to 2 million customers on a network across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico," stated Sullivan.

According to the memo, last year alone, Lynx's passenger count grew by 187 per cent, and "we did it all with a passionate dedication to a customer-centric flying experience with ultra-affordable fares." 

Lynx says it will now focus on supporting the last customers by offering service until the end of day Sunday, in order to allow as many customers as possible to complete their journeys and return its crews and aircraft to base. 

"It has been the highlight of my professional career serving as your leader over the last six months. This is a truly amazing team, and I will remain proud of what we built together," concludes Sullivan.

Additional information for Lynx customers is available on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Passengers with existing bookings are being advised to contact their credit card company to secure refunds for pre-booked travel.

Lynx's website lists 23 destinations, including most major Canadian cities and U.S. locations such as Phoenix, San Franciscoand Tampa Bay.

Canada's transport minister posted a statement on social media Thursday night, saying that he's thinking about those who are affected by the news."For any travellers that had a return flight booked with Lynx, I expect Lynx to help you get back home as soon as possible,'' Pablo Rodriguez wrote.``I expect Lynx to fully refund you if your fare won't be honoured."

"My office has been in touch with Lynx, we will continue to communicate with all parties, and we've convened calls with other airlines to see how they can help, to ensure that passengers are put first.''


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