TORONTO — Sunwing has cancelled almost all of its remaining winter sun flights out of Regina, effective Feb. 4.
Sunwing’s latest statement confirms that the company is cancelling the remainder of its winter program out of Regina effective Feb. 4, impacting weekly flights to Mexico, Cuba and the D.R. The few exceptions are Sunday departures from Regina to Puerto Vallarta, starting Feb. 5, and Family Day weekend departures to Puerto Vallarta (Feb. 17), Mazatlan (Feb. 17) and Cancun (Feb. 18 and 20). The rest of the program is cancelled for the remainder of the winter season.
Sunwing is offering impacted passengers the option to transfer their vacation package to same day departures out of Saskatoon, Winnipeg and other Canadian gateways at originally booked pricing, pending availability. Customers can also opt for a full refund.
“We sincerely apologize to our valued customers and airport partner in Regina for the inconvenience and disruption. Following the preliminary cancellations in January, the difficult decision to cancel more of our winter program was necessary due to operational and business constraints that would prevent us from delivering the standards of service our customers in Regina expect and deserve when travelling with Sunwing,” reads the statement.
“We are hopeful that customers will choose to travel with us from other Canadian gateways to the destinations they love, while we work to re-establish a full program from Regina for the 2023-2024 winter season. We thank our customers and airport partner for their ongoing support and understanding at this time, and look forward to returning customers to destination through alternate gateways this winter and by rebuilding a fulsome program for next winter season.”
“IT’S SO AWFUL”: SASKATCHEWAN AGENCY OWNER
News of the latest cancellations comes as a blow for Saskatchewan travel advisors, who are already dealing with Sunwing’s earlier cancellations of flights up until Feb. 3, from Regina and Saskatoon. Saskatchewan travel advisors and recently, ACTA, have voiced their anger and frustration at the cancellations and recalled commissions.
Jamie Milton, co-owner, Uniglobe Carefree Travel, who wrote an open letter to Sunwing Travel Group CEO Stephen Hunter, is concerned for Saskatoon’s flights with Sunwing. The situation is “so awful,” Milton told Travelweek yesterday.
Last week representatives from Canada’s airline industry, including Sunwing, Air Canada and WestJet, were questioned for hours during an emergency meeting of the federal government’s Transport Committee about the holiday season travel chaos.
Sunwing Airlines president Len Corrado said Sunwing got word on Dec. 9 that its application to bring on foreign temporary pilots for the winter was denied. Transport Committee members grilled Sunwing on why it continued to book travel for Canadians knowing about the setback with the foreign temporary pilots, and why commissions have been recalled.
STATEMENT ON ATLANTIC CANADA, NORTHERN ONTARIO CANCELLATIONS
This latest round of cancellations also comes on the heels of cancelled sun flights from several gateways in Atlantic Canada and northern Ontario as well.
A statement from Sunwing says the company’s decision to cancel and consolidate select flights departing from Atlantic Canada airports in Halifax, Fredericton and Moncton to southern destinations this winter season “are to ensure we are delivering the standards of service our customers both expect and deserve when travelling with Sunwing.”
Customers whose travel plans have been impacted by these cancellations are provided the option to change their departure gateway or destination, or cancel their vacations for a full refund to their original form of payment, if preferred.
Says Sunwing: “At this time, we are not planning further reductions to our winter program from Atlantic Canada airports, however customers will be advised should there be any changes to their upcoming travel plans. We thank our customers and airport partners in Atlantic Canada for their ongoing support and understanding at this time.”
Sunwing has also issued a statement about the cancellation of its Northern Ontario winter sun program effective February 1, impacting customers in Sudbury and North Bay.
Sunwing is offering impacted customers the ability to transfer their vacation package to same day departures from Toronto along with a $100 CAD future travel credit as a goodwill gesture. Alternatively, customers can choose to cancel their vacations for a full refund.
“We sincerely apologize to our valued customers and airport partners in Sudbury and North Bay for the inconvenience and disruption. The difficult decision to cancel winter flights beginning in February was deemed necessary due to operational and business constraints that would prevent us from delivering the standards of service our customers expect when travelling with Sunwing,” says the company.
“We are hopeful that customers will choose to travel with us from Toronto this winter season, while we work to re-establish a full program from Sudbury and North Bay for the 2023-2024 winter season. Of course, those who would prefer to cancel their travel plans for departure from February 1st onwards may do so and will receive a full refund, should they so choose.
“We thank our customers and airport partners for their ongoing support and understanding at this time, and look forward to returning customers to destination through alternate gateways this winter and by rebuilding a fulsome program for next winter season.”