Tuesday, 13 September 2016
CANADA: Sunwing Airlines
Its main Canadian bases are at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and Vancouver International Airport however it also operates seasonal flight services from over 30 local Canadian gateways. The airline is a subsidiary of Sunwing Travel Group.
Sunwing Vacations started its in-house airline in March 2015 using Boeing 737-800s to operate non domestic flights and flights from Canada to the USA, Mexico, the Caribbean. Since then, its president is Mark Williams, who had been president of Skyservice and had worked with Wardair and Canadian Airlines.
On September 29, 2005 Sunwing Airlines' parent company, Sunwing Travel Group, acquired Signature Vacations and SellOffVacations, and subsequently signed a partnership deal with TUI Group which acquired 49% of Sunwing Travel and a 25% voting interest in the venture. As part of the Sunwing Travel Group, Sunwing Airlines was named one of Canada's 100 fastest growing companies by the magazine Profit 100 for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
In early 2015 it was announced that Sunwing had finalised a deal to acquire two Boeing 737-800 and four Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from Air Lease Corporation in a $350m contract. The aircraft are due to be delivered over a four-year period from early 2016. In December 2015, parent company Sunwing Travel Group also acquired Caribbean Nexus Tours (now known as NexusTours), a ground handler and incoming tour operator in the Dominican Republic and Mexico.
Sunwing began operating summer charter flights between Canada and European destinations during the summer of 2015. Two of the Boeing 737-800ER are leased to Thomson Airways, which are based at Dublin Airport and Belfast International Airport. Two Boeing 767-300ERs were leased from EuroAtlantic Airways for these services, which connected Toronto to Lisbon, London, Paris, Dublin, Rome, Porto and Amsterdam, and connected Montreal to Paris.
In the summer of 2015, Glasgow and Barcelona were added to the list of European destinations. Since then, all flights from Montreal to Paris have been operated in partnership with sister company Corsairfly. As of 2015 Sunwing Airlines offers seasonal flights from Toronto and Amsterdam operated by Arkefly in addition to the Paris to Montreal service.
In January 2016 Sunwing Travel Group announced the 100% acquisition of United States-based Vacation Express.
Sunwing Airlines flies to a range of vacation destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, Cuba, Central and South America including Varadero, Playa Santa Lucia in Camaguey, Punta Cana, Cancun and Montego Bay. Sunwing Airlines also flies regularly to destinations within the United States, including Orlando and Las Vegas.
During the summer months the airlines services destinations including Cancun, Grand Bahama and Punta Cana from its bases in the United States. As of summer 2015 the airline operated services from Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, Houston, Nashville, New Orleans, Newark, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. In Canada, the airline operates several domestic routes, including Toronto to Vancouver. Other connections include Stephenville, Gander and St John's from Toronto.
As of summer 2015, there were also regular flights between Montreal and Paris operated by Corsair, and between Toronto and Amsterdam operated by TUI Airlines Netherlands. Sunwing Airlines has codeshare agreements with the Dutch airline TUI Airlines Netherlands on their Summer Boeing-787 Dreamliner service between Toronto and Amsterdam.