CALGARY — The WestJet Group has issued a statement confirming its future plans to combine “the best of every airline across the WestJet Group” with the integration of Sunwing Airlines and Swoop into WestJet’s mainline operations.
The company says the move will provide reliable and affordable travel to a broader spectrum of guests and communities across Canada and beyond.
WestJet also confirmed that tour operator Sunwing Vacations will continue its independent operation, “joining forces with WestJet Vacations to offer most affordable packaged tours to Canadians.”
Alexis von Hoensbroech, WestJet Group’s CEO, said: “We are confident that the future integration of Sunwing Airlines into the WestJet Group, following that of our ultra-low-cost carrier Swoop will significantly enhance our ability to provide affordability and choice to our guests. 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.”
He added that while the integration of Swoop is anticipated to conclude by the end of October 2023, Sunwing Airlines will not start integrating before 2024 and remains business as usual at this time.
The statement goes on to say that “Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations together will form the leading tour operator in Canada and will continue to operate independently under their existing and respective brands, as integral parts of the WestJet Group.
“As a result, both Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations will significantly expand vacation offerings to even more communities across its extensive network as well as offering affordable vacation packages from communities in Canada on a year-round basis, which were previously seasonal.”
WestJet Group will also leverage Swoop’s ultra-low fare products and Sunwing Vacations’ affordable vacation packages, to provide “ultra-affordable fares and increased affordable vacation packages across Canada through the entirety of its 180 aircraft.”
Said von Hoensbroech: “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. 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.”
Len Corrado, President, Sunwing Airlines, said Sunwing Airlines’ integration into WestJet “is a long-term move that will unlock greater scale as one AOC and create more opportunities for Sunwing Airlines employees under the WestJet Group.”
And Andrew Dawson, President, Tour Operations, had this to say: “The tour operator is not impacted by the airline integration. Sunwing Vacations will continue as the leading tour operator in Canada as part of the WestJet Group, while leveraging the WestJet network to drive increased scale and growth in the sun leisure segment alongside the WestJet Vacations brand.”