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April 18, 2024

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This LCC started service on April 7, 2022, and 599 days later, the airline is closing.  It had plans for 46 aircraft but only managed to build its fleet to nine MAX 8s.  Lynx will cease operations on February 26 at 12:01 am.

Operating an LCC in Canada is tough – it is a relatively small market and plenty of competition.  The competition includes network carrier Air Canada and several smaller LCCs.  Absent deep pockets, Canadian airlines run the risk of failure.  Deep pockets are what Lynx lacked.

Lynx started life as Enerjet in 2006 and had plans to fill the gap in middle Canada – what is known in the US as “flyover country.”  Much to the intense annoyance of everyone living in these areas.  Air service is essential in North America because distances are vast. Lynx is based in Calgary, which is an important Canadian center for the energy industry.

In the unforgiving climate of competitive LCCs, Westjet has offered to help travelers impacted by the Lynx collapse. Others are likely also to step in.

What happens next is going to be interesting. The nine MAX 8s will likely quickly be snapped up by other operators desperate for lift.  Since most of the fleet is leased, the lessor is fortunate that demand for new aircraft is strong. The oldest MAX 8 at the airline are under five years old.

The staff at Lynx will be assisted but will likely find jobs.  Passengers in places like Calgary won’t find alternative flights that hard to come by.  For example, Edmonton-based Flair will probably jump into the Calgary gap.  It’s close and easy to do.  Toronto-based Porter has a growing fleet of E195-E2s that could find additional traffic to and from the Calgary region.

It appears that any gap in the market will close quickly.  Canadian airlines can easily solve any market capacity shortfall. This is a brutal and unforgiving business.

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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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