Sunwing Comes Under Fire for Recent Operational Issues

Sunwing Comes Under Fire for Recent Operational Issues

DALLAS – Canadian leisure carrier Sunwing Airlines (WG) has come under fire from the Canadian government after thousands of passengers were left stranded due to the recent winter storms that have battered North America.

The storms have created an operational disaster for the carrier, similar to that experienced by Southwest Airlines (WN) this week. Passengers have been stranded across Latin America, including those in Cancun (CUN), who have been stuck for over five days.

During the winter months, UK carrier TUI (BY) sends over a number of its 737s to operate for WG and the deal is reciprocated during the summer months. Photo: Pablo Gonzalez/Airways.

“Very Concerned”

Taking to Twitter to voice their concerns, the Canadian Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, said, “Canadians are patient when it comes to weather disruptions but they rightly expect their airlines to keep them informed and to manage these disruptions smoothly. I am very concerned with the current situation with Sunwing Airlines.

“This ongoing situation is unacceptable. Canadians must receive the information they need to return home safely. We expect all airlines to keep their passengers informed when it comes to delivering a service that they were paid to do.”

Competition authorities are currently investigating the proposed acquisition of WG by WestJet. Photo: Sunwing.

Recovery Plans

According to a post on Twitter on December 27, WG said that it had “completed two recovery flights so far this week, planned another eight recovery flights which are scheduled to depart up to and including December 30, and are currently finalising recovery plans for our remaining passengers in destination.”

Passengers have also taken to social media to vent their frustration at the lack of communication from the airline. In a statement, WG said they “Sincerely regret the impact to travel plans over the holidays and thank our customers for their understanding.”

In March, it was revealed that WestJet (WS) would be acquiring WG and its Sunwing Vacations arm and incorporate it into its new WestJet Vacations tour operation. However, in October, Canadian competition authorities expressed concern over the merger and its “substantial lessening” of competition in the leisure market. Both parties are now awaiting approval from Transport Canada.

Featured Image: Sunwing Boeing 737-800 (C-FYJD). Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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