20 June, 2023

The WestJet Group to integrate Swoop first then Sunwing Airlines and continue vacation brands.

Sunwing Vacations to continue its independent operation, joining forces with WestJet Vacations to offer the most affordable packaged tours to Canadians

The WestJet Group has confirmed that future plans will see its budget operation Swoop fully integrated into the WestJet operation by the end of October, while Sunwing Airlines won't start the integration process until early 2024. For now, Sunwing Airlines will continue operating a business-as-usual plan, which will be some reprieve to the scores of staff that face an uncertain future following the takeover. 

As WestJet sweeps in with Swoop,  the airline will soon start to introduce a more low-cost-carrier mentality with low seat-only fares across its network and around 180 aircraft.  The increased size of the company will allow it to secure better rates from airports and suppliers.  Alexis von Hoensbroech, WestJet Group, Chief Executive Officer. "The integration of all jets from Sunwing Airlines, Swoop and WestJet into one fleet will provide us with the scale to enhance our collective operational resilience while offering more affordable fares and vacation opportunities across our entire network."

On the holiday side of things, Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations together will form the leading market-dominant tour operator in Canada and will continue to trade independently under their existing and respective brands, yet back office functions will be integrated into the WestJet Group. The current plan is to operate more vacation packages throughout the year and not just seasonal as is currently the case.

"Competition amongst air carriers in Canada has never been healthier and after a challenging three years, aviation is back, with passenger traffic doubling in Canada since March 2022," continued von Hoensbroech. "As the strongest airline in Western Canada and the biggest vacation provider across the entire country – the integration of Swoop and eventually Sunwing Airlines into the WestJet Group will enhance affordability and serve to increase choice for Canadians for their air travel and vacation plans."