TORONTO, Feb. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sunwing was recently announced as MSC Cruises’ Tour Operator Partner of the Year for 2019. This is the third time that Sunwing has received the award.
Ian Patterson, Country Manager Canada for MSC Cruises, congratulated the tour operator, “Since Sunwing started their cruise program in 2009, the tour operator has been a valued partner of MSC Cruises. Their convenient cruise package options from a host of gateways across Canada make it easier than ever for vacationers to set sail on board MSC Cruises. We look forward to continuing and growing our relationship with Sunwing in the years to come.”
Sunwing’s Vice President of USA and Cruises, Reg Mendes, commented on the news, “We’re excited to have once again been recognized as MSC Cruises’ Tour Operator Partner of the Year. MSC Cruises has been a part of the Sunwing cruise program since the beginning and is a long-time favourite amongst Canadian travellers with its modern architecture, convenient amenities and non-stop entertainment.”
Travellers can set sail with Sunwing on board the MSC Seaside, with departures from Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa and Moncton; and the MSC Meraviglia, with departures from Toronto, Quebec City and Montreal.
Sunwing guests can take their cruise budget even further with the Fantastica Experience* included in their MSC cruise package, which offers preferred stateroom locations, preferred dining times and the Easy Drink Beverage Package. Plus, groups of eight or more cruising together can take advantage of exclusive offers where the 16th adult travels free.
All Sunwing cruise packages include round-trip flights on board Sunwing Airlines with award-winning inflight service, transfers from the pier to the airport, accommodations and all meals on board.
TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sunwing was recently named Norwegian Cruise Line’s Wholesaler/Tour Operator Partner of the Year. Each year, the popular cruise line recognizes its top Canadian travel partners with awards across a variety of categories.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s National Director of Sales for Canada, Derek Lloyd congratulated the tour operator for this award, “Sunwing has been a great partner for Norwegian Cruise Line for many years now, and 2019 was our best ever. Their dedication of putting together a great value package including a Norwegian Cruise, Sunwing flight and transfers makes it simple for Canadians who want a one-stop-shopping package to get away from our winters!”
Sunwing’s Vice President of USA and Cruises, Reg Mendes, commented on the news, “We’re honoured to have been recognized as Norwegian Cruise Line’s Canadian Wholesaler/Tour Operator Partner of the Year. Since Sunwing started offering cruise packages with NCL in 2015, their signature Freestyle Cruising® concept has become a favourite amongst Canadian sun-seekers.”
Airlines can get permission to fly if ‘very strict conditions’ met
Ashley Burke · CBC News · Posted: Feb 03, 2020
Canada has allowed at least 160 flights to criss-cross North America using Boeing 737 Max jets since grounding the fleet for commercial use almost a year ago.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau banned the planes from Canada’s airspace in March after two crashes within five months in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people, including 18 Canadians. Satellite data showed both planes experienced significant flight control problems. Garneau said he won’t lift restrictions on the planes until all of Canada’s safety concerns have been addressed.
CBC News analyzed flight data that shows Canadian airlines have continued to fly the jets for the past 11 months, often multiple times a week. The flights include four hours in the air over Canada from Windsor to Vancouver and shorter hauls such as Montreal to Trois-Rivières, Que., and Abbotsford, B.C., to Calgary.
Transport Canada said no passengers were on board any of the flights. The department said it has been allowing Air Canada, WestJet and Sunwing to fly the planes for maintenance, storage, or pilot training under certain conditions. Only certain pilots with specialized training and briefings of the 737 Max are allowed to operate the aircraft.
The flights came as a shock to some families in Canada whose loved ones died on a 737 Max.
“It feels like a slap in the face,” said Chris Moore who lost his 24-year-old daughter in the Ethiopian Airlines crash. “Your loved one has died due to that plane and they’re still gearing up for the day when it’s ungrounded.”
Paul Njoroge lost his wife, three young children, and mother-in-law in that same crash. He’s also concerned for the safety of the pilots in the air and Canadians on the ground.
“It’s shocking to me that they are still flying,” said Njoroge. “It just tells me that these people will never stop playing or juggling with human life.”
“You cannot say it’s not safe for passengers, but still allow the plane to fly. If you’ve grounded the plane, it has to remain grounded.”
‘Ferry flights’ exempted
When Garneau banned the jets on March 13, the notice to airmen stated it was “necessary for the protection of aviation safety and the public.” But the notice also made exemptions for “ferry flights” that take off or land in Canada.
CBC News pulled data from flight tracking website FlightRadar24 to see where Canadian 737 Max planes have been spotted in the skies since grounded.
An analysis reveals that Air Canada has been flying its Boeing 737 Max fleet the most often. Between March 14 and Jan. 16, Air Canada flew 121 times, in comparison to 29 times for WestJet and 12 for Sunwing.
In at least 27 instances, Air Canada took off or landed in Marana, Ariz. In some cases, flying more than five hours straight.
“Those aircraft movements were required for maintenance purposes, including to relocate them to the southern desert where they can be stored more safely,” said Air Canada in a statement to CBC News.
Air Canada also said it’s using the ferry flights as an opportunity to keep pilot certifications current for those who train frontline pilots.
Flight data shows 160 Boeing 737 Max flights
20 hours ago
737 Max aircraft flew across Canada and the U.S. 0:18
WestJet said its ferry flights were for maintenance and storage space. Sunwing said it proactively grounded its fleet before Canada made it mandatory. Since then, the airline confirmed it moved several 737 Max aircraft from large, busy airports to outside storage facilities.
“We approach these necessary transfers with an abundance of caution, conducting thorough risk assessments and only using senior pilots who were briefed on responses to any potential anomalies. All these flights operated without incident,” said Sunwing in a statement.
Flights must be approved, follow ‘very strict conditions’
Transport Canada said in order for ferry flights to be approved, airlines must follow “very strict conditions”:
Only advanced pilot evaluators are allowed to fly.
Pilots must get specialized briefings and training including on a 737 Max simulator.
Additional crew is on board all flights and a mandatory third pilot.
They can only fly in certain weather conditions.
Larry Vance, former Transportation Safety Board aviation crash investigator, said he has no concerns with the 737 Max flying under this criteria.
“These are not flying bombs about to explode,” said Vance. “They’re not gonna start dropping out of the sky on people. These are very safe airplanes flown under those conditions.
“They’re only flown by the best of the pilots with briefings. Anything that might go wrong with the airplane they know how to handle it.”
Vance added that planes are like cars — if left idle they deteriorate, and need to be in the air to stay in top shape.
Victims’ families meeting with transport minister
That doesn’t comfort Moore and Njoroge, who question why the planes can’t be restored for service if and when Canada declares them safe for passengers.
“That tells you a lot about the regulatory authorities promoting the industry instead of promoting safety, instead of safeguarding the lives of human beings.” said Njoroge.
“I don’t understand why they would use that as an excuse to fly,” said Moore.
Families of the Ethiopian Airlines crash victims say they are meeting with Garneau on Feb.12. Njoroge plans on asking Garneau to keep the planes on the ground — no exemptions.
Canada is continuing to independently review and validate changes to the Boeing 737 Max.
Transport Canada has four areas of concern that it wants addressed before the fleet can return to service including: acceptable levels of pilot workload, architecture of the flight controls, minimum training required for crew members, and aircraft performance, according to Garneau’s briefing binder obtained through an access to information request.
“I certainly understand how the families feel,” Garneau said today, commenting on the story before entering the Commons chamber.
“We look at every single one of these ferry flights very carefully, where it’s going to go and who’s going to be on board and what training and preparation they’ve had before we accept and doing it.”
“I want to tell everybody that we’re not going to put these planes back into Canadian skies to fly passengers until we’re 100 per cent satisfied.
TORONTO, Jan. 31, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — While Canadians are hoping Wiarton Willie forecasts an early spring this coming Groundhog Day, February 2nd, Sunwing is helping travellers prepare for the possibility of six extra weeks of winter with their Groundhog Day weekend flash sale. From now until midnight on February 3, 2020, winter-weary vacationers can save up to 40% on getaways to popular resorts across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. With vacation packages priced to sell out, travellers will want to book early to secure their spot in the sun.
For a limited time, Canadians can escape winter and warm up on the sparkling shores of Sunwing’s newest destination of Grand Cayman when they stay at Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman. Nestled in a private cove on Seven Mile Beach, this boutique-style property offers laidback tropical getaways for all ages. Travellers can sunbathe by one of the resort’s pristine pools and enjoy unlimited international drinks at all resort bars and restaurants.
Those looking to save on a luxury getaway can stay at Royalton Suites Cancun Resort and Spa. This All-In Luxury® resort offers the best of both relaxation and exploration, travellers can unwind on a beautiful beach or head out and explore downtown Cancun. Vacationers can also look forward to reservation-free dining at upscale à la carte restaurants and elegant suites with a private balcony or terrace and guests that upgrade to Diamond Club can enjoy complimentary access to the adults only Level 18 Rooftop Cabana Lounge.
Another popular property included in this promotion is Melia Las Antillas in Varadero. Enjoying a stunning beachfront location surrounded by tropical gardens, this adults only resort offers a selection of complimentary non-motorized water sports such as catamarans, kayaks and more.
For more information or to book, visit www.sunwing.ca or contact your travel agent.
TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sunwing was announced winner of the Consumer Choice Award earlier this month in the category of Best Tour Operator in Quebec. Sunwing has previously received numerous Consumer Choice Awards in the categories of Best Charter Airline and Vacation Provider across Toronto, London, Hamilton/Niagara, Halifax, St. John’s, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver. However, this was the first time Sunwing received this recognition in Quebec.
Established in 1987, the Consumer Choice Award is the only organization in Canada to conduct independent market research surveys to determine brand reputation and customer satisfaction. The Consumer Choice Award is only bestowed upon a very select group of business owners and entrepreneurs recognized by customers for their business excellence. Businesses are ranked based on customer surveys carried out by some of the largest independent Canadian-owned research companies.
Lyne Chayer, General Manager of Sunwing Quebec, welcomed the news, “We are honoured to have been recognized as the Best Tour Operator by customers in Quebec. We have operated out of the province for almost 14 years and continue to expand our offerings to sun-seeking vacationers throughout the province. We believe our wide range of destination options, convenient vacation packages and departures from five local airports across the province has made us a popular choice with Quebecers.”
Sunwing is the only tour operator to offer vacation packages across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America from five airports across the province including Montreal, Quebec City, Saguenay, Val-d’Or and Mont-Joli. This season, the tour operator expanded their operations in the province with the addition of a new flight service from Quebec City to Mazatlán in Pacific Mexico. Sunwing also offers year-round flights out of Montreal and Quebec City.
For more information or to book, visit www.sunwing.ca or contact your travel agent.
TORONTO, Jan. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The third Monday of January – also known as Blue Monday – is considered one of the gloomiest days of the year with dreary weather, failing New Year’s resolutions and a lack of sunlight all putting a damper on peoples’ moods. To help Canadians shake off the winter blues, Sunwing is offering savings of up to 35% on all inclusive vacation packages with their Blue Monday Buster Sale.
From now until January 24, 2020, travellers can trade in winter blues for blue skies across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America during the Blue Monday Buster Sale. In addition, the tour operator is offering amazing savings of up to $500 per couple on cruise packages* and Florida flight deals where travellers can Buy 1 Seat and Get the 2nd Seat at 50% off **.
Sun-seekers who book during the promotion can score a luxury getaway for less at Royalton Suites Cancun Resort and Spa. Located just steps from the hustle and bustle of downtown Cancun, this top-rated luxury resort features a spectacular infinity pool and the adults only Level 18 Rooftop Cabana Lounge – the perfect spot to get a much-needed dose of vitamin D – with complimentary access included for Diamond Club™ guests.
Another popular resort included in the sale is Ocean Varadero El Patriarca, where vacationers can soak up the sun on Cuba’s famous Varadero Beach. This charming property is perfect for classic sun-and-sand escapes, where guests can start their days with a delicious Cuban coffee at Mike’s Coffee before heading down to the white-sand shores or relaxing by the shimmering pools with a tropical drink in hand.
Travellers can swap out snowy roads for sparkling beaches by planning an adults only getaway at CHIC Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. This top-rated adults only resort is the perfect spot for social vacations with exciting activities both day and night, a unique mermaid pool, themed parties by the beach and an outdoor DJ booth. Guests seeking ultimate rest and relaxation can head to the lavish Royal Spa to soak in the hydrotherapy circuit or indulge in a relaxing massage.
Excursions are also a great way to shake off the winter blues and extend the holiday happiness bubble long after travellers return home. Sunwing Experiences offers a range of excursion options for every travel style, whether travellers want to set sail on a catamaran cruise or zipline high above the treetops. For a limited time, Sunwing is offering up to 20% off popular excursions.
For more information or to book, visit www.sunwing.ca or contact your travel agent.
*Savings of up to $500 per couple on cruises booked by January 22, 2020 on board Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Escape, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside and Marella Discovery 2 for departures between January 18, 2020 and April 14, 2020.
**Buy one flight, get the second flight at 50% off the base fare before taxes on bookings made by January 24, 2020 for Sunwing flights to Daytona Beach, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and St. Pete/Clearwater for departures between now and May 8, 2020.
Eric Atkins. Transportation Report, December 30, 2019
An icy end to 2019 has thrown air travellers’ holiday plans into chaos, as snow and freezing rain caused the cancellation of dozens of flights in Ottawa and Montreal.
More than 70 departures were cancelled and several flights were delayed on Monday at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport amid freezing rain and snow. Marie-Claude Desgagnés, a spokeswoman for the Montreal hub, said the snowy weather in Ontario and the northeastern United States has slowed or stalled flights at the airport, Canada’s third-busiest.
Environment Canada issued a snowfall alert for Montreal and the surrounding region, warning of strong winds and saying 15 to 20 centimetres of snow could accumulate between Monday afternoon and Tuesday night. Ottawa is under a warning of freezing rain or ice pellets, hazards that could change to snow later on Monday, Environment Canada said.
Airlines and airport operators are advising travellers to call their carriers to check on the status of their flights, and to arrive at the airport well in advance of their flight to leave time for lengthy check-ins.
Krista Kealey, a spokeswoman for Ottawa International Airport, said airlines cancelled a combined 42 of 262 arrivals and departures amid freezing rain on Monday. Some flights were cancelled ahead of the storm, she said. “It’s the cumulative effect of what’s happening at other airports and the weather in other cities,” Ms. Kealey said. “The system, once it gets disrupted, there’s a ripple effect that goes through the system and it takes a while to get it back on track, but hopefully the freezing rain will stop and we can play catch-up.”
Peter Fitzpatrick, an Air Canada spokesman, said freezing rain poses a greater safety risk than snow because it gets into every niche on a plane and must be melted with de-icing fluid.
The storm caused the Montreal airport to limit Air Canada to 15 flights an hour on Monday, down from the usual 36 to 40, for safety reasons, he said. This meant the carrier had to select which flights to scrub. Typically, the airline will cancel shorter flights and protect long-haul flights on larger planes to avoid inconveniencing greater numbers of holiday travellers, and will try to fly bigger jets on other routes to get as many people to their destinations as possible. The airline also implemented its no-charge rebooking policy.
WestJet Airlines said it cancelled 33 Monday flights in Eastern Canada before the storm arrived, including three between Montreal and Toronto and one between Montreal and Calgary. “We continue to closely monitor the system and additional cancellations and delays are possible,” said Morgan Bell, a spokeswoman for the Calgary-based airline.
In an e-mail, Sunwing Airlines said it expects delays but no cancellations because of the bad weather in Ontario and Quebec. “As a leisure vacation provider, it’s extremely rare to cancel our flights, and we are doing everything within our control to ensure our customers’ vacations plans are not disrupted,” Sunwing said.
Travellers out of Montreal are also bracing for a possible strike on Jan. 1 by the workers who fuel the planes at Trudeau and Mirabel airports. The employees of Swissport Canada, represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union, on Friday rejected a tentative contract proposal. The vote sets up a possible walkout on Wednesday.
Swissport said in a statement it is “surprised and disappointed” by the contract’s rejection. “Travellers, customers, stakeholders and airport authorities can rest assured that our team will dedicate every effort to reach an agreement and continue the refuelling service during this busy period as we go back to the negotiation table,” Swissport said.
TORONTO, Dec. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Residents of Southern Ontario will have more tropical destinations to choose from this winter with Sunwing. The tour operator has just announced the addition of a seasonal flight service to the island of Grand Cayman for the very first time. Direct flights from Toronto will operate on Sundays from February 2, 2020 until May 3, 2020, inclusive.
The largest of the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean, Grand Cayman is home to breathtaking white-sand beaches, picturesque tropical landscapes and a gourmet culinary scene. Vacationers can spend their days soaking up the sun on the shores of Seven Mile Beach, snorkelling or scuba diving amongst colourful coral reefs and indulging in world-class dishes at five-star restaurants.
President of Tour Operations for Sunwing, Andrew Dawson, commented on the news, “We are excited to be offering travellers departing from Toronto Pearson even more ways to Vacation Better this winter with the addition of this new destination. With its pristine beaches and picturesque landscapes, we’re sure that Grand Cayman will be a popular choice amongst Torontonian sun-seekers.”
Director of Tourism, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Rosa Harris, celebrated the news, “We are so pleased to welcome Sunwing in offering Canadians with more opportunities to visit the Cayman Islands. We are proud to share our exceptional attractions, from our pristine Seven Mile Beach to the Crystal Caves and, as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, our diverse and exceptional restaurants.”
Vacationers who take advantage of this new flight service can stay at Margaritaville Beach Resort Grand Cayman. This boutique-style property is located in a picturesque private cove and is the only all inclusive resort on the famous Seven Mile Beach. Guests can look forward to personalized service, convenient on-site dining and comfortable accommodation options with private balconies.
For more information or to book, visit www.sunwing.ca or contact your travel agent.
Canadian Operators: Air Canada (24 aircraft), WestJet (13) and Sunwing (4)
Chairman David Calhoun to become chief executive starting Jan. 13
The Associated Press · Posted: Dec 23, 2019
Boeing’s chief executive officer has been forced out by the board of directors amid continuing problems with the company’s troubled Max 737 aircraft.
The Chicago-based manufacturer said Monday that Dennis Muilenburg is stepping down immediately. Board chairman David Calhoun will take over as CEO on Jan. 13.
The board said a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company as it works to repair relationships with regulators and stakeholders. The Max was grounded worldwide in March after the second of two crashes, killing a combined total of 346 people.
Calhoun says he strongly believes in the future of Boeing and the 737 Max.
The leadership change follows Boeing’s announcement last week that it would halt Max production in January.
Then United Airlines said it would pull the Boeing 737 Max from its flight schedule until June. The same day, Spirit AeroSystems, which makes fuselages, said it would end deliveries intended for the Max in January.
And capping matters last Friday, Boeing’s new Starliner space capsule went off course on a planned trip to the International Space Station, heading into the wrong orbit due to a timing error. The unmanned vehicle landed safely on Sunday.
‘Emphasis on engineering’
Speculation that Muilenburg would be fired had been circulating in the industry for months, intensifying in October when the board stripped him of his chairman title.
Aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia said the appointment of Calhoun, who previously served as head of Blackstone Group’s private equity portfolio operation, will provide needed short-term stability but not the long-term “emphasis on engineering” the company needs.
“Calhoun is respected in the industry,” Aboulafia said on Monday. “But long-term, does he bring the right tool kit? Private equity leans companies out. That’s not Boeing’s problem right now.”
Board member Lawrence Kellner will become non-executive chairman of the board.
“On behalf of the entire board of directors, I am pleased that Dave has agreed to lead Boeing at this critical juncture,” Mr. Kellner said in a prepared statement.
“Dave has deep industry experience and a proven track record of strong leadership, and he recognizes the challenges we must confront. The board and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the Boeing team to ensure that today marks a new way forward for our company.”
TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The first Sunwing flight from Quebec City to Mazatlán, Mexico departed from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) today. To celebrate the inaugural flight, Sunwing brought a taste of Mazatlán to the airport with authentic Mexican food, a tropical photo wall and special gifts for the first passengers to depart to this popular vacation destination from the city. The occasion was marked with an official ribbon cutting ceremony presided over by Yanic Roy, Vice President of Business Development for YQB, and Lyne Chayer, General Manager of Sunwing Quebec.
The new weekly service is available from now until April 14, 2020, inclusive. As Canada’s largest vacation provider of Mazatlán vacation packages, Sunwing offers packages to this Pacific Mexico hotspot from 11 airports across the country. With the introduction of this new route, travellers in Quebec City can now choose from 11 tropical destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and Florida when they book with Sunwing.
Lyne Chayer, General Manager of Sunwing Quebec, commented on the news, “We are excited to be offering travellers in the provincial capital with even more ways to Vacation Better down south this winter. We’re sure that Mazatlán’s colonial charm, beautiful beaches and top-rated resorts will make it a favourite amongst sun-seekers looking for a winter escape.”
Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO of YQB, praised the new addition, “We are delighted that Sunwing is adding a new non-stop destination to its winter offering from YQB. We’re certain that travellers in the greater Quebec City area will take advantage of this new flight service and we appreciate Sunwing’s trust in our market and their commitment to improve and expand their winter flight services at YQB. This addition responds to a demand from the public and is in line with our goal of offering more options to Quebec travellers”.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming tourists from Quebec City on the first-ever direct flight service to México’s Only Colonial City on the Beach, a destination with a unique blend of Mexican culture and 20 kilometers of beautiful beaches”, said Julio Birrueta, Director of the Mazatlán Tourism Board. “Guests will not only have the opportunity to enjoy great seafood, regional cuisine and a wide variety of activities and local tours, but they will also find authentic hospitality from the local mazatlecos,” he added.
Known as the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’, Mazatlán offers travellers the ideal escape with sandy beaches, historic architecture and a rich culture. Vacationers who take advantage of this new flight route can choose from a number of popular resorts across Mazatlán. Riu Emerald Bay is a popular choice amongst families, featuring a brand-new section with modern amenities, enhanced facilities and an on-site water park. Travellers looking to soak in the local culture will appreciate a stay at Sunwing favourite resort, El Cid Castilla Beach, located near Mazatlán’s famous Golden Zone on a sprawling stretch of beach.