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Canada's Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff speaks on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 26, 2011.

BLAIR GABLE/Blair Gable/Reuters

Michael Ignatieff's Liberal campaign is hitting turbulence, with the party unexpectedly ending up with an older, subcontracted plane.

The Liberals originally expected Calgary-based Enerjet, headed by WestJet Airlines Ltd. co-founder Tim Morgan, to supply a newer model Boeing 737.

But Enerjet's spiffy Boeing 737-800 needs to be returned to its lessor at the end of March, so that has forced a change in plans.

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Enerjet has scrambled to subcontract Kelowna-based Flair Airlines to fly an older-model Boeing 737-400 for the Liberals, starting Sunday night, an industry insider familiar with aircraft leases said in an interview.

The Flair plane is a step up from Stephane Dion's gas guzzling Boeing 737-200, supplied by Air Inuit, in 2008.

"The plane will be unveiled for our maiden flight [Sunday]out of Montreal," a senior Ignatieff official told the Globe's Jane Taber.

Enerjet is slated to take delivery of a Boeing 737-700 on April 4, too late for the start of Liberal electioneering.

In contrast to Flair, WestJet has a fleet of newer Boeing 737-600, 700 and 800 Next Generation models.

No decision has been made yet on whether to stick with the Flair plane, or switch to Enerjet's Boeing 737-700 midway through the Liberal campaign.

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