Tour operator will temporarily suspend southbound flights and concentrate resources on returning customers safely

TORONTO, March 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As part of the ongoing efforts to protect our employees and customers and keep Canadians safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Sunwing is cancelling all southbound flights from March 17th until April 9th, 2020 and focusing on repatriating customers in destination.

“The health and well-being of our customers and our employees is our highest priority and we are working around the clock to keep them safe. It’s important that we do our part to contain the spread of COVID-19, while assuring our customers and their families that we are fully committed to bring each and every one of them home to Canada,” said Stephen Hunter, President and CEO, Sunwing Travel Group. Sunwing currently has approximately 100,000 customers in destination.

This morning, the first four rescue flights departed, three from Toronto and one from Montreal. These initial flights will bring over 500 Canadians home from Honduras, Aruba, and Panama, all countries that have announced the imminent closure of their borders. Sunwing is working closely with the governments of all our destinations, in collaboration with Canadian government authorities, to continue repatriation flights in the coming days.

In addition to these immediate repatriation measures, Sunwing is temporarily suspending all outgoing flights to most of its sun destinations from March 17th to April 9th inclusive. This decision is essential to the company’s focus on containing the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring all customers return safely. All customers within this window will be eligible for a full cash refund or future travel credit. Customers who opt for the latter, can receive an additional $100 per person to use towards a future booking. 

Sunwing has set up a dedicated page on their website providing customers with real time updates along with all the options available to them to defer or cancel their travel plans.

About Sunwing

The largest integrated travel company in North America, Sunwing has more flights to the south than any other leisure carrier with convenient direct service from over 33 airports across Canada to more than 45 popular sun destinations across the U.S.A., Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. This scale enables Sunwing to offer customers exclusive deals at top-rated resorts in the most popular vacation destinations as well as cruise packages and seasonal domestic flight service. Sunwing is consistently voted the top leisure airline by travel agents and is the perennial winner of the Consumer Choice Award. Customers can look forward to starting their vacation off with award-winning inflight service, which features a complimentary glass of sparkling wine*, non-alcoholic beverage service; together with a buy on board menu of light meals and snacks, including kids’ choices, the World Famous Original Smoked Meat from the iconic Montreal-based Schwartz’s Deli along with delicious menu options inspired by Food Network Canada Celebrity Chef, Lynn Crawford. Sunwing customers also benefit from the assistance of the company’s own knowledgeable destination representatives, who greet them upon arrival and support them throughout their vacation journey. Sunwing supports the communities where it operates through the Sunwing Foundation, a charitable initiative focused on the support and development of youth and humanitarian aid. Sunwing matches all donations the Foundation receives through its Spare Change Program on board Sunwing Airlines, no administrative fees are collected and 100% of the proceeds go to charity.

*Service may be unavailable on select flights

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Rachel Goldrick
Senior Corporate Communications Manager
Sunwing Vacations
1-800-387-5602 | media@sunwing.ca