It looks like some deals really are too good to be true.
Two weeks ago, Canadian discount airline NewLeaf was promoting flights across Canada for as low as $89 beginning on Feb. 12. Naturally, it didn’t take long for a whirlwind of sales to ensue as Canadians everywhere rejoiced–there was finally an affordable alternative for domestic air travel.
There’s only one problem: NewLeaf literally failed to launch.
Before its first flight even took off, the company posted a release on its website yesterday announcing it was postponing service and issuing refunds. The issue, apparently, involved licensing.
NewLeaf’s business model works a little differently when compared to other airlines. Most Canadian airlines own and operate their own fleet of aircraft, which requires them to obtain a license from the Canadian Transportation Agency. But NewLeaf does not have its own planes, and instead created a charter agreement with Kelowna, B.C.-based Flair Airlines Ltd. This would allow Flair to hold the CTA license, while NewLeaf simply sold the seats.
“The reason why we launched on January 6 is because it was confirmed that we were in full compliance of CTA licensing regulations,” NewLeaf Chief Executive Officer Jim Young said in a statement. “Now, there is ambiguity in the air as to whether we need to amend the relationship with our air service provider, or whether we need to have a licence ourselves.”
In other words, the transportation agency is reviewing legislation to confirm whether or not NewLeaf’s position should require it to hold a license directly.
If all goes well from here, NewLeaf hopes to have planes in the sky by spring. You can learn more about what went wrong in the video above.