WINNIPEG – Airline startup NewLeaf Travel is temporarily postponing ticket sales pending a Canadian Transportation Agency review of licensing regulations.
The Winnipeg-based company says it will refund all credit card transactions for reservations on flights that were scheduled to begin Feb. 12.
NewLeaf, which earlier this month announced with much fanfare its plans to launch discount flights, says it plans to resume taking reservations in the spring.
The CTA is reviewing whether indirect air service providers, or those who do not operate any aircraft but market and sell air services to the public, should be required to hold agency licences.
NewLeaf says the review applies to all companies operating in this manner and is not limited to NewLeaf’s partnership with Kelowna, B.C.-based Flair Airlines Ltd., under which it plans to offer cheap flights out of seven airports in five provinces.
CEO Jim Young has said NewLeaf does not need a licence because Flair, its operating partner, has one.
Young said the reason why the company launched on Jan. 6 was because it was confirmed that NewLeaf was in full compliance with CTA licensing regulations.
“The CTA gave us an exemption from holding a licence directly while it reviews its legislation,” he said in a statement Monday.
“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,” he continued.
“As with any success that threatens to change the status quo, there are those that will resist that change and take any measures necessary to maintain the existing playing field, even if it is to the detriment of the vast majority and the benefit of the very few.”