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TORONTO — Sunwing is grounding all of its Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft throughout the winter season.
Sunwing’s new schedule will come into effect on Nov. 5 and run until mid-May 2020. While the move has been prompted by the ongoing worldwide grounding of the MAX 8, the company said that being able to provide clients with much-needed reassurance while planning their winter vacations was an equally important factor in the decision.
“The worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft created operational difficulties for us during the summer months when we did not have additional capacity within our fleet to replace this aircraft type,” said Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing. “In order to maintain our customers’ vacation plans, it was necessary to contract flying with third-party carriers and make schedule changes or cancellations to over 3,000 flights.”
Dawson also thanked customers and travel agents for their ongoing support: “We acknowledge the options our customers were presented with to maintain their travel plans may have caused them an inconvenience, and we appreciate the understanding and flexibility shown by both our travel agent partners and our customers during this period.”
The revised winter schedule will ensure that all future scheduled flying is operated entirely on Boeing 737-800s. As such, “our customers should feel more confident about booking their vacations or destination weddings early and taking advantage of the best deals and Early Booking Bonuses we’ve ever offered,” added Dawson.
All schedule changes have already been made and are now live on Sunwing’s website and reservation system, through to mid-May 2020.
Should the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft become available during the course of the winter, the company will evaluate opportunities to add capacity or reintegrate them into the fleet at that time.
Any clients who have been affected by these changes have been notified either directly or through their travel agent, depending on how their reservation was confirmed.