Sunday, October 30, 2016

National Airlines plane grounded at St. John's airport, application to seize filed with court: Airport alleges company owes fees, airline terminating service in January

National Airlines N176CA sits on the tarmac at St. John's International Airport after an application for seizure was filed with the Supreme Court and future flights were cancelled. The airport is accusing National of not paying fees. 

A National Airlines plane landed in St. John's at 6:28 p.m. on Friday, inbound from Orlando. The scheduled return flight to Florida was cancelled, with passengers unable to rebook on the discount airline.

By Sunday afternoon, a notice on the airline's website stated: "We regret to inform you that we are cancelling several flights in November and December and have decided to not extend our service to St. John's beyond January 6, 2017." 

The St. John's Airport Authority has filed an application to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador under Section 9(2) of the Airport Transfer Act.

The section pertains to unpaid fees from an airline to an airport. It allows airport officials to file an application to seize an aircraft if they have reason to believe the plane or the person liable for the unpaid fees will leave Canada. It also allows a judge to make an ex parte ruling — a decision without a defence being present.

The application is scheduled to be heard Monday at 10 a.m. 

Passengers were upset with the cancellation and were told by the airline it was due to a "paperwork issue," a source told CBC. The source said airport authorities seized the plane due to unpaid fees. 

Calls to St. John's International Airport management National Airlines and Provincial Airlines were not returned.

National holds a partnership with Provincial Airlines, operating weekly flights to Orlando since January. The airline flies out of St. John's, Windsor, Ont., Orlando and San Juan, Puerto Rico.


No comments: