WestJet to shut down Sunwing Airlines, merge it with mainline business

WestJet to shut down Sunwing Airlines, merge it with mainline business

WestJet is planning to wind down Sunwing Airways, integrating the low-cost provider into its mainline enterprise inside two years as a part of a plan to streamline operations.

In an inner memo obtained by The Canadian Press, Sunwing Airways president Len Corrado stated the change will open up markets for the 18-year-old firm in addition to its employees. CBC has not independently verified that memo. 

In a press release despatched to CBC Information, the Calgary-based provider verified the transfer.

“Whereas we will affirm the eventual integration of Sunwing Airways into WestJet, the anticipated timeline to take action has not been decided presently,” Julia Kaiser, spokesperson for WestJet, stated in an e-mail. 

“Our rapid focus stays on the combination of Swoop’s extremely profitable enterprise mannequin throughout WestJet’s operations.”

The choice comes the week after WestJet opted to fold funds subsidiary Swoop’s operations below its flagship banner.

“WestJet will ultimately transfer to a one jet plane working certificates (AOC) mannequin and Sunwing Airways will likely be built-in into WestJet,” Corrado stated within the memo, dated Wednesday.

He stated he expects that the combination may take as much as a few years.

A Swoop airlines jet is shown
A Swoop airplane is seen on this undated handout photograph. Swoop Airways hosts a media day earlier than the launch of its extremely low-cost service on Tuesday at Hamilton Worldwide Airport. (WestJet/The Canadian Press)

Each strikes amplify the most important consolidation of the Canadian aviation market that adopted WestJet’s acquisition of Sunwing’s most important airline and trip divisions final month.

The memo gave no indication that Sunwing Holidays would additionally shut down, suggesting that WestJet planes may very well be flying Sunwing tour package deal clients to their sun-soaked getaways.

“The WestJet Group stays dedicated to rising solar flying within the East alongside enlargement plans in Western Canada, and this technique will solely be strengthened as we finally transition to a one jet AOC,” Corrado wrote.

Sunwing didn’t instantly reply to requests for touch upon Saturday.

Within the assertion, Kaiser confirmed that Sunwing Holidays will proceed to function as a part of the WestJet Group and won’t be impacted by the airline integration.

WestJet introduced on June 9 it will merge Swoop with its most important enterprise by late October because the nation’s second-biggest airline recalibrates amid a fiercely aggressive market.

The shift got here 5 years after Swoop first surfaced as a response to low cost rival Aptitude Airways’ launch in 2017.

It additionally landed after pilots with WestJet and Swoop ratified a brand new collective settlement that brings them onto a stage pay scale, giving them a 24 per cent pay bump over 4 years.

In an interview final week, WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech stated he mulled protecting Swoop separate, however concluded increased wages for its flight crews made the choice much less possible.

In March, the federal authorities accredited WestJet’s takeover of Sunwing Holidays and Sunwing Airways, regardless of a warning from the Competitors Bureau that the acquisition would seemingly lead to increased costs and decreased providers, particularly round package deal offers.

A man looks at the camera.
WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech pauses for a portrait on the airline’s headquarters in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, June 30, 2022. The CEO of WestJet Airways says his firm is asking the federal authorities to permit airways to get better passenger compensation prices from different business companions, in the event that they performed a job in inflicting flight delays or disruptions. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

In signing off on the deal, Ottawa hooked up circumstances that embody extending Sunwing packages to 5 new cities, sustaining capability on probably the most affected routes and protecting each a holidays enterprise head workplace in Toronto and a regional one in Montreal for at the very least 5 years.

The settlement added some 2,000 workers and 18 Boeing 737s to WestJet’s 130-aircraft fleet, made up fully of Boeing planes, in keeping with the federal plane registry. 

This contains Swoop’s planes however not these of regional service WestJet Encore.

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