Lynx Air to cease operations as of Monday. What passengers need to know

Some air travellers may be scrambling to make alternate plans after Canadian discount airline Lynx Air announced it will cease operations next week after filing for creditor protection.

The Calgary-based company revealed Thursday it had obtained an initial order from the Alberta Court of King’s Bench under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act.

Lynx Air cited several factors, including rising operating costs, high fuel prices, exchange rates, increasing airport charges and a complex economic and regulatory environment. It will cease operations as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 26.

The airline is directing passengers to a frequently asked questions section on its website. There, the airline says it will continue to operate the majority of its flights through the weekend and that anyone whose flight is cancelled would be notified via email.

For people who have a flight booked on Monday or beyond, the airline advises them to contact their credit card company for a refund. The airline says the Lynx Air contact centre will not be available to help with refunds and vouchers will no longer be accepted once operations cease next week.

“Every effort is being made to assist passengers at this time. Passengers with existing bookings are advised to contact their credit card company to secure refunds for pre-booked travel,” a spokesperson wrote in a news release.

Canada’s transport minister said his office has been in touch with the airline and he expects the company to fully refund any passenger if their “fare won’t be honoured.”

“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 said in a statement posted on social media.

With service to destinations throughout Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, Lynx launched its inaugural flight in April 2022. Despite some recorded growth over the past two years, the airline said, “the challenges facing the company’s business have become too significant to overcome.”

The airline has not said how many employees are affected by the shut down but a staff member tells CityNews they believe it is around 300 workers.

WestJet offering discounts to Lynx Air passengers

WestJet is out with a statement saying they will be offering discounted flights to any Lynx Air passengers who are impacted by the airline shutting down.

“We recognize the immediate impact this information has on passengers and employees of Lynx, and we are committed to assisting where we can through a number of actions,” reads a statement from WestJet.

The company says it will offer a 25 per cent discount for economy cabin fares on WestJet routes that were previously serviced by Lynx. The discount will be valid on bookings before Feb. 29 for flights between Feb. 22 and Oct. 26, 2024.

“We are communicating closely with government officials and supporting agencies that are also working to address the needs of those impacted,” says WestJet.

A list of WestJet routes with Lynx Air service and more on the discounts offered can be found here.

With files from The Canadian Press

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