Showing posts with label Sunwing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sunwing. Show all posts

02 October, 2023

WestJet Group to move all Sunwing's 737 jets to WestJet within a year.

The WestJet Group has set out a targeted timeline for the integration of Sunwing Airlines into WestJet Airlines and to complete a move of all the Boeing 737 jets from Sunwing to WestJet by the end of October 2024.

Alexis von Hoensbroech, Chief Executive Officer, of the WestJet Group said:  "As we execute upon our network strategy to serve the Canadian leisure market from coast-to-coast, we look forward to consolidating Sunwing Airline's 737 aircraft, with that of WestJet's, enhancing our ability to meet the diverse travel and product needs of all Canadians.  Integration work will prioritize a seamless transition for Sunwing's customers and employees as we work together to bring enhanced sun and leisure offerings to communities across the country and ensure jobs for those transferring to WestJet from Sunwing Airlines."

As the proceeding integration of Swoop will be fully completed by October 28, 2023, the WestJet Group will integrate Sunwing Airlines with the same commitment to delivering a reliable guest and employee experience. The planned activity has no impact on Sunwing Vacations Group and its associated vacation brands.

With safety, people and guests at the forefront, the complex nature of the integration, as well as the involvement of multiple valued stakeholders, including Transport Canada, Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) and labour partners, the targeted completion of integration will remain flexible, as necessary while the airline works productively with these groups on timelines and details.  

Independent analysts indicate the move will cost at least 45 jobs at the group. 

22 August, 2023

Eurowings expands partnership with Smartwings

Eurowings pushes pan-European growth at its Prague base. Germany's largest leisure airline intensifies its cooperation with the leading Czech airline Smartwings. As part of a bilateral codeshare agreement, connections operated by Smartwings from Prague can now also be booked under Eurowings flight codes.

At launch, the codeshare cooperation between the partner airlines includes flights to the Mediterranean metropolis of Tel Aviv, to the historic city of Valencia in Spain, to Split on Croatia's Dalmatian coast and to Nice on the Cรดte d'Azur. There are plans to gradually expand the range of routes.

Eurowings customers will thus benefit from a wider range of direct connections from the Czech capital. Eurowings connections from Prague will also continue to be offered under Smartwings flight numbers and marketed via and other channels. The first phase of the codeshare agreement between the two airlines already started in March 2022.

"The cooperation between Eurowings and Smartwings strengthens our position at our European base in Prague and enables us to offer our customers even more travel options from the Czech Republic. Our partnership with Smartwings, which is well established in the Czech domestic market, strengthens our pan-European growth strategy," says Eurowings CEO Jens Bischof.

Smartwings flights from Prague to Tel Aviv, Valencia, Split and Nice now bookable under Eurowings flight number, with more destinations planned.

Eurowings CEO Jens Bischof: "Partnership with Smartwings strengthens pan-European growth."

Travel-intensive strong first half of 2023: Eurowings carries 300,000 passengers to/from Czech capital.

New direct connection Prague – Agadir in Morocco starting in 2023 winter season.

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."

02 May, 2023

WestJet completes its buy-up of Sunwing

WestJet Group and Sunwing to maintain independent operations, while working collaboratively to combine complementary strategies for a gradual and effective transition

The WestJet Group confirmed this week that it had completed its buyout of the leisure airline and holiday company Sunwing, which has been going on for over a year.

WestJet says that Initially, both airlines will continue as independent operations, focusing on providing the same passenger experience as now and ensuring safe operations. As the two entities transition from competitors to collaborators, the company will combine these two businesses.  

Alexis von Hoensbroech, Chief Executive Officer of the WestJet Group said: "As we have set out on our new strategic trajectory for the WestJet Group, investing further in leisure and sun flying across Canada is a critical driver for growth. - it brings me great pleasure to welcome Sunwing to the group, adding 18 Boeing 737s, 2,000 employees and Canada's largest vacation tour operator and significantly expanding our footprint in Eastern Canada. Together, we will strategically enhance our sun and leisure offerings to bring even more affordable and accessible travel opportunities to Canadians." 

Stephen Hunter, formerly the CEO of Sunwing Vacations, has been appointed CEO of the WestJet Group's Vacations Business, responsible for all tour operating and vacation package businesses of both the Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations brands.

"The combination of our complementary businesses marks an important milestone that will enable us to fast-track our growth plans and provide Canadians with more affordable vacations to more destinations than ever before," said Stephen Hunter, CEO of the WestJet Group's Vacations Business. "I am thrilled to join forces with WestJet and, in doing so, create even more opportunities for our people and deliver greater value for Canadian travellers."

As previously announced, the WestJet Group's newly combined tour operator businesses, comprised of WestJet Vacations and Sunwing Vacations, will be headquartered in Toronto, Ontario and will continue to operate a Montreal office. In the coming years, the Vacations Business expects to facilitate new flying and new employment opportunities by retaining Sunwing's aircraft in Canada year-round, among other sources of anticipated growth.

"We are excited to welcome Sunwing's employees to the WestJet Group of Companies; throughout the planning of this transaction, we have been continually impressed by their expertise and experience in the vacations industry," concluded von Hoensbroech." We look forward to working alongside them to deliver memorable services to an expanding number of Canadians."

21 April, 2022

Sunwing disruption continues after systems hack

Hundreds of Canadian holidaymakers have been left stranded or facing massive delays after their airline Sunwing suffered a major data security breach which has left them with grounded planes and manually checking in passengers.

Sunwing confirmed on Wednesday it was continuing to check in passengers manually after the server networks it used, from its service provider, Airline Choice had been majorly compromised earlier this week.

Many passengers took to social media regarding the incidents of delayed flights, holidays being shortened and lengthened by the disruption, with many facing additional costs, loss of earnings and some others still not knowing when they would be returning to Canada.

The Toronto based firm said it has sub charted some aircraft from other Canadian carriers such as WestJet and Air Transat to help ease the backlog of passengers.  “Our teams have been working hard to get more planes off the ground today. Between manual check-ins and sub-chartered aircraft, 26 planes have departed so far today with another 6 expected to depart tonight.” It claimed, just after midnight on Wednesday night / Thursday morning.

Whilst the airline is offering the possibility of changing flights without a fee, there isn’t a single apology on its site for those disrupted by the chaos and system outage.  Its contact pages ‘sunwingcares’ seems to be a complete misnomer in light of its current situation.

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04 March, 2022

CUPE set to fight WestJet's take over of Sunwing.

The union representing flight attendants at Sunwing Airlines says it will fight tooth and nail to defend the rights and the jobs of its 800 members in the wake of news that WestJet is looking to acquire Sunwing Airlines.

"The pandemic has been very tough on our sector, and on our airline in particular,” said Rena Kisfalvi, President of Local 4055 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). "We'll be keeping a close eye on this proposal, and our sole focus will remain on defending our members' jobs and their livelihoods as this process moves forward."

Local 4055 recently ratified a new collective agreement in June 2021, which featured important gains for members, including an additional top-up for maternity leaves - the first of its kind in the airline sector.

"The ink is barely dry on our new contract, and you can bet we are going to ensure our hard-won rights are respected,” Kisfalvi added.

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03 March, 2022

WestJet to buy Sunwing.....

WestJet and Sunwing announced that they have reached a definitive agreement under which the WestJet Group of companies will acquire Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines. The transaction will bring together two distinctly Canadian travel and tourism success stories to deliver new travel options and greater value for travellers in the rapidly expanding leisure and work-from-anywhere travel markets. The combination will enable both companies to protect and create jobs and rebuild strength in the Canadian travel industry at a critical time.

Following the close of the transaction, a new tour operating business unit will be created under the WestJet Group, to include both Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations Inc., and will be led by Sunwing CEO Stephen Hunter. Sunwing's current shareholders will become equity holders in the WestJet Group.

Canadian travellers will have access to more competitive airfares and affordable vacation packages through the combined strength of the companies. The tour operator business will be headquartered in Toronto, with a Quebec head office in Laval and the business will continue to market the Sunwing brand alongside WestJet Vacations. The WestJet Group will maintain its head office in Calgary.

The WestJet Group of companies will expand to include Sunwing Airlines. This will add increased capacity, dedicating otherwise seasonal aircraft to operate year-round in Canada, instead of Sunwing supplementing seasonal demand with imported aircraft, which translates into more jobs for Canadians. This acquisition will improve the WestJet Group's ability to offer more affordable fares by immediately expanding its low-cost footprint in Canada.

31 December, 2021

Canadian holiday airline Sunwing is putting passenger and crew safety at risk

The union representing flight attendants at Sunwing Airlines says the company is neglecting the safety of its employees and its passengers by refusing to offer rapid test kits or PCR testing to employees.

"If Sunwing cares about the well-being of its customers and its staff, they'll fix this today," said Rena Kisfalvi, President of CUPE Local 4055, which represents approximately 1,000 flight attendants at the airline. "The pandemic has been hard on our industry, but bringing in this simple measure will help keep us in the air so we can weather the latest storm with omicron."

CUPE represents workers at nine Canadian airlines including Sunwing, but Sunwing is the only airline yet to make this tool available to their employees.

"That's not acceptable for us, and it's not acceptable for the flying public," said Kisfalvi. "This is one area where Sunwing should not want to be alone in the crowd."

Sunwing Travel Group is the largest integrated travel company in North America, it  is comprised of Sunwing Vacations and Vacation Express, two of the leading leisure tour operators in North America; Sunwing Airlines, Canada's premier leisure airline; SunwingJets, a luxury private jet charter service and Vacation Express, a growing tour operator in the United States together with the Group’s own travel retail businesses and Luxe Destination Weddings. Blue Diamond Resorts is the Group’s hotel management company, an innovative organization that operates popular resort brands including Planet Hollywood Hotels & Resorts, Royalton Luxury Resorts, Memories Resorts & Spa, Starfish Hotels & Resorts and Mystique Resorts across the Caribbean and Mexico; while NexusTours is a full-service destination management company offering affordably priced and reliable ground transportation, popular tours and excursions, as well as other travel management services.

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18 May, 2021

Sunwing to restart weekly flights to popular Cuban destinations from Windsor, Ontario.

The largest integrated travel company in North America, Sunwing
has announced it will be returning to Windsor International Airport for this coming winter season with weekly flight service to the popular Cuban vacation destinations of Varadero and Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba. 

“Our service from Windsor International Airport has been consistently well received and we’re looking forward to returning for the 2021/2022 winter season,” commented Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing. “Our regional gateways including Windsor are at the forefront of our operations and we’re excited to be offering residents convenient departures from their local airport under our wing.”

The flight schedule from Windsor will be as follows:
Between Windsor and Cayo Santa Maria, Tuesdays from December 14, 2021, until April 5, 2022
Between Windsor and Varadero, Thursdays from December 16, 2021, until April 14, 2022

“We are looking forward to welcoming Sunwing back to Windsor International Airport,” said Mark Galvin, CEO of Windsor Airport. “Sunwing provides convenient vacation destinations at a time when rest and relaxation are much needed.”

Drew Dilkens, Mayor of Windsor and the Chair of the YGB Board of Directors, also celebrated the news. “Sunwing is an important partner for YQG and the Windsor-Essex region. We are happy that Sunwing is returning to provide amazing vacation experiences right from our doorstep.”
Photo Sunwing

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04 February, 2021

Sunwing Airlines leases two Boeing 737 MAX jets from Air Lease Corp

Look closely and you might just make out the 737 MAX 8 painted out on the rear fuselage  Photo ALC

Air Lease Corporation has delivered of two new Boeing 737-MAX aircraft on long-term lease to Sunwing Airlines.  However,  the global leasing firm and Sunwing are trying to hush up the fact that there are the 737 MAX models, by using the now commonplace 737-8 designator. These aircraft, featuring CFM International LEAP-1B27 engines, are the third and fourth new Boeing 737-MAX aircraft to deliver to Sunwing from ALC’s order book with Boeing. 

“ALC is pleased to announce these two new Boeing 737-8 deliveries to Sunwing Airlines today,” said John L. Plueger, Chief Executive Officer and President of Air Lease Corporation.  “These aircraft mark ALC’s first 737-8 deliveries since the grounding and will provide state-of-the-art efficiency, cabin comfort, and advancement of Sunwing’s environmental sustainability initiatives.” 

“We thank ALC for the delivery of two new Boeing 737-8 aircraft, and look forward to integrating them into our existing fleet,” said Mark Williams, President, Sunwing Airlines.  “The new planes provide advanced technology, comfort and fuel efficiency, and will undoubtedly offer Sunwing Airlines customers an enhanced travel experience when they are placed into commercial service.”

Sunwing Airlines currently has two 737-800s and two other 737-8s on lease from ALC.

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05 November, 2019

Canadian's take note - Sunwing is offering 10,000 vacations at 40% off

With winter just around the corner, Canadians will want to get a head start on planning their escape from the cold. Sunwing is helping sun-seekers secure massive savings on their ideal all inclusive getaway this winter with 10,000 vacation packages available at 40% off! This exclusive discount is only available at select properties, so travellers looking to Vacation Better at their top choice of destination and resort should act fast to secure their preferred tropical getaway.

Vacationers planning a getaway with the whole family can choose to stay at top-rated family resort, Royalton Bavaro Resort and Spa in Punta Cana. Located on the world-famous shores of Bavaro Beach, this property offers activities for all ages including an on-site splash pad, a lazy river and a FlowRider® surf simulator. Plus, parents can take their family’s travel budget even further at this resort as up to 2 kids (2-12 years) Stay, Play and Eat FREE.

02 December, 2018

Sunwing to start seasonal flight between Detroit and Punta Cana and Montego Bay

Sunwing is introducing a new flight service from Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Michigan for the first time ever. Starting January 20th, 2019 until April 22, 20,19 inclusive, travellers can book select vacation packages to Punta Cana and Montego Bay with weekly direct flights from Detroit. Flights to Punta Cana will operate on Sundays, while flights to Montego Bay will operate twice-weekly on Mondays and Fridays.

23 November, 2018

Error in programming flight management computer nearly caused disaster in Belfast.

Missing centre light BFS runway
Photo AAIB
On the 21st of July 2017 a Sunwing Airlines Boeing 737-86J, registration C-FWGH took off from Belfast International Airport at 1539 but only just made it into the air after it struck a supplementary runway approach light, which was 36 cm tall and 29 m beyond the end of the runway.  

In a report issued today by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority's Air Accident Investigation Branch detailed how the aircraft took off without sufficient power to meet regulated performance requirements following a number of errors including the incorrect programming the 'Flight Management Computer - FMC'.  An outside air temperature (OAT) of -52°C had been entered into the FMC, the actual temperature outside the aircraft was 16°C. This meant the aircraft was attempting to take off with just 60% of its available thrust and was slow to travel down the Belfast runway. This low acceleration of the aircraft wasn't recognised by the crew initially, not until the aircraft was rapidly approaching the end of the runway. The report says the aircraft rotated at the extreme end of the runway and started to climb away at such a low rate that it would have spelt disaster at many other airports. The flight deck crew did not apply full thrust until the aircraft was approximately 4 km from the end of the runway, at around 800feet. 

21 July, 2018

Sunwing adding new winter flights

Sunwing Airlines has recently announced a number of new services in recent days.

From December 18, 2018, until April 16, 2019, the airline will run a service from Montreal to Mazatlan, Mexico, The weekly flight will take place on Tuesdays on a Boeing 737.  Leaving at 0730 the flight will arrive at 1145 and on the return, it will depart Mazatlan at 1240 landing back into Montreal at 1940.

Mazatlan is often called the Pearl of the Pacific, popular with tourists for its serene lagoons and stretches of sandy beach, with the Golden Zone home to world-class resorts.

The holiday airline is also starting a service from Quebec City this coming winter to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, running from Monday 17th  December to 15th April 2019.  “With the announcement of Puerto Vallarta as a new destination, Sunwing is further diversifying its flight offering from Quebec City's Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) with an exciting option for passengers in the Greater Quรฉbec City area." Said, Mathieu Claise, Director, Government and Public Affairs of YQB.

13 June, 2018

Sunwing to fly Vancouver - Liberia Route

Candian holiday airline Sunwing will be offering a weekly non-stop direct flight service from Vancouver to Liberia in Costa Rica this coming winter. The flights will operate on Sundays between December 23rd, 2018 and March 31st, 2019.  The flight service is anticipated to be operated on the airline’s new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Once it commences, Sunwing will be the only carrier offering this route direct from Vancouver.

President of Tour Operations for Sunwing, Andrew Dawson, commented on the news. "We’re very pleased to be introducing Costa Rica for the coming winter. As well as being renowned for its eco tours and adventures, this popular destination also stands out for the quality of its accommodation. With this new service, our Vancouver customers will be able to choose between two of our consistently most popular top-rated resorts, Riu Palace Costa Rica and Riu Guanacaste, or be among the first guests to experience the new Planet Hollywood Costa Rica, opening this fall.  As an added benefit, we will be operating the flight service on our new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aeroplanes. The improved fuel efficiency of the MAX will also enable us to offer an increased number of direct flight services from our Western airports."

25 April, 2018

Sunwing under investigation

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is launching an inquiry into delays, cancellations, tarmac delays and lost, delayed and damaged baggage affecting Sunwing flights scheduled to fly to, or from, Toronto Pearson International Airport between April 14 and 18, 2018. This inquiry will allow the CTA to deal efficiently with the high volume of complaints relating to these flights.

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23 February, 2018

Canada's Sunwing Travel Group and Planet Hollywood Create Partnership For Massive Expansion

Sunwing Travel Group, North America's largest vertically integrated travel company, has signed a deal with iconic lifestyle brand Planet Hollywood to dramatically increase the footprint of Planet Hollywood's hotel operations globally. Initially, Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica will open in the fall of 2018 and Planet Hollywood Resort Cancun will open in late Spring of 2019. These two properties mark Planet Hollywood's first foray into the in-demand luxury all-inclusive category.

Two lavish, all-inclusive Planet Hollywood resorts openings in less than two years

For more than 25 years, the Planet Hollywood brand has been positioned as the authority on entertainment and popular culture.  Capitalizing on its close celebrity ties and the universal appeal of movies, television, music, and sports, the Planet Hollywood brand has been successful across the gaming, restaurant, lodging, retail, leisure and entertainment sectors.

06 January, 2018

Ground collision at Toronto Pearson causes delays

A major incident occurred at Toronto's Pearson airport where a WestJet Boeing 737-800 that had recently arrived from Cancun was waiting to proceed to its gate when it was struck by a Sunwing aircraft being pushed back. 

This incident took place at approximately 6.30pm local time on Friday evening on the apron around terminal 3.  The WestJet aircraft had been on the ground for around twenty minutes, waiting for a gate to be opened up when it was struck on its wing by the tail of the Sunwing aircraft - which that caught fire. From images shared on social media it appears the fire on the Sunwing aircraft was contained within the APU. 

There were 168 passengers and 6 crew on the WestJet aircraft at the time of the collision and they were evacuated via the emergency slides to the apron. Emergency crews raced to the area at terminal three and put out the fire. 

WestJet issued the following statement 
WestJet has confirmed that WS2425, a Boeing 737-800 with 168 guests and six crew onboard, inbound from Cancun to Toronto Pearson, while waiting to proceed to the gate and stationary, was struck by a Sunwing aircraft pushing back from the gate.    

Due to the position of the aircraft on the laneway, WestJet guests required evacuation via emergency slide. Emergency crews were on hand and responded immediately.  WestJet is in direct contact with the Transportation Safety Board, the GTAA and the various emergency agencies responsible for responding to, and investigating, this incident.  All 168 guests and six crew are accounted for. We can confirm guests are safely in the terminal.  
Some flights departing from and arriving at terminal 3 have been affected, although a spokesperson for the airport advised that other flights were operating as normal.

The Sunwing aircraft was not operating a passenger flight at the time of pushback, the travel company tweeted the following statement "There were no Sunwing crew or passengers onboard at the time of the incident.  We are awaiting further information from Swissport and will provide more details as they become available."

An investigation is currently underway. 

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