Tag Archives: Sunwing Airlines

Unifor says Sunwing plans to yank pilots’ medical insurance after CIRB complaint

Unifor made this announcement:

Following a recent bad faith bargaining complaint by Sunwing pilots at the Canada Industrial Relations Board, Sunwing announced that it plans on revoking the company’s Pilot Loss of License insurance as of July 31, 2022, as a cost-cutting measure.

Sunwing pilots filed a complaint at the Canada Industrial Relations Board Monday, July 4, 2022, alleging their employer bargained in bad faith during a recent round of negotiations because the employer already knew the company was being sold to WestJet.

On July 8, 2022 – days after the filing at the CIRB – Sunwing sent a document to Unifor pilot members indicating the company would no longer be continuing the pilots’ $200,000 Loss of License insurance policy, which supports a pilot who loses their license to fly due to medical reasons.

“Loss of License Insurance is critical for pilots,” said Barret Armann, President of Unifor Local 7378, which represents 452 Sunwing pilots. “Without one, they are out of a career. The insurance provided a very small amount of money to retrain, support their families and begin again in a new career – a position pilots hope they never find themselves in.”

Further to the insurance cancellation, Armann said Sunwing plans on hiring roughly 65 foreign temporary workers this winter in Regina, Saskatoon and Edmonton, to alleviate worker shortage as travel continues to ramp up, post-pandemic.

These temporary workers, mostly from Czech Republic, require less flying experience – 3,000 hours for captains – compared to Unifor’s captains at a minimum of 4,000 to 5,000 hours and Armann says the company is paying these foreign workers more than 75% of Unifor pilots currently employed.

“There are lots of qualified pilots here in Canada, but Sunwing has decided to bring in workers with less training,” said Armann. “Our pilots feel they have been taken advantage of after being out of work for more than a year-and-a-half and are angry at how the company chooses to treat its pilot group. The Canadian government needs to strengthen guidelines to prevent companies from outsourcing our work and put Canadian workers first.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

Sunwing aircraft photo gallery:

Sunwing pilots file bad faith complaint with federal labor board

Sunwing pilots filed a complaint at the Canada Industrial Relations Board Monday, July 4, 2022, alleging their employer bargained in bad faith during a recent round of negotiations because the employer already knew the company was being sold to WestJet.

“Despite management reassurances that the company was not a candidate for a sale or merger, Sunwing was sold to WestJet shortly after the collective agreement was signed – a huge slap in the face,” said Scott Doherty, Unifor’s Executive Assistant to the National President.

Unifor and Sunwing reached a tentative agreement on Jan. 23, 2021. In the complaint, the union states that less than two weeks later, the Globe and Mail published a story, as well as other media outlets, where Sunwing CEO Stephen Hunter is quoted as disclosing that Sunwing had received a purchase offer from an unnamed company. In the same article, an unnamed executive source told the media outlet WestJet and Sunwing had discussed WestJet purchasing Sunwing in the past.

The union and Sunwing ratified the four-year deal on Feb. 12, 2021.

“It was of paramount importance to the union to receive assurances from the employer that it was not discussing a sale to WestJet, as any potential sale would have had important consequences on the union’s positions with respect to bargaining,” the filing reads.

Section 50 of the Canada Labour Code imposes a duty on the parties to a collective agreement to bargain in good faith, including to answer honestly whether it will likely implement changes during the term of a proposed agreement that may have significant impact on the bargaining unit.

On March 2, 2022, Sunwing and WestJet announced that WestJet would be buying Sunwing, pending regulatory approvals.

“Sunwing pilots recently negotiated a contract that made several concessions with the understanding the pandemic had placed major financial pressures on the airline. It’s not only the employer’s duty to bargain in good faith – it’s the law,” said Barret Armann, President of Unifor Local 7378, the union that represents 452 Sunwing pilots.

“Had this sale been transparent during bargaining, we could have pushed to include job security language in case of acquisitions.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

Sunwing Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

WestJet Group to acquire Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines

It’s official. WestJet issued this statement:

WestJet and Sunwing announced today that they have reached a definitive agreement under which the WestJet Group of companies will acquire Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines.

The transaction will bring together two distinctly Canadian travel and tourism success stories to deliver new travel options and greater value for travelers in the rapidly expanding leisure and work-from-anywhere travel markets. The combination will enable both companies to protect and create jobs and rebuild strength in the Canadian travel industry at a critical time.

WestJet Logo (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

Following the close of the transaction, a new tour operating business unit will be created under the WestJet Group, to include both Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations Inc., and will be led by Sunwing CEO Stephen Hunter. Sunwing’s current shareholders will become equity holders in the WestJet Group.

Canadian travelers will have access to more competitive airfares and affordable vacation packages through the combined strength of the companies. The tour operator business will be headquartered in Toronto, with a Quebec head office in Laval and the business will continue to market the Sunwing brand alongside WestJet Vacations. The WestJet Group will maintain its head office in Calgary.

The WestJet Group of companies will expand to include Sunwing Airlines. This will add increased capacity, dedicating otherwise seasonal aircraft to operate year-round in Canada, instead of Sunwing supplementing seasonal demand with imported aircraft, which translates into more jobs for Canadians. This acquisition will improve the WestJet Group’s ability to offer more affordable fares by immediately expanding its low-cost footprint in Canada.

WestJet Group and Sunwing intend to build on their collective history of constructive labour relations and will respect all arrangements with union and employee associations, including those in place and those currently under negotiation.

As a result of the resiliency created by the transaction, Sunwing expects to no longer require the pandemic-related Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) Sunwing obtained from the Canadian government in early 2021, which will be fully repaid upon closing of the transaction.

The combination, which remains subject to receipt of regulatory approvals, is anticipated to close late 2022.

WestJet is in the hunt to acquire Sunwing Airlines

Sunwing Airlines’ days may be numbered. According to Bloomberg, WestJet is nearing a deal to acquire the carrier.

Unifor Sunwing pilots reach tentative agreement

Pilots represented by Unifor Local 7378 have ratified a new four -year agreement with Sunwing Airlines.

“In the most unprecedented of times while the entire aviation industry in Canada has been shuttered, our pilots came together and this agreement provides a road forward and a plan for all of our members who are suffering financially,” said Barret Armann, President of Unifor Local 7378.

Unifor Local 7378 represents 451 pilots who have been furloughed or inactive  for many months due to the pandemic and government travel restrictions. Sunwing Airlines Inc. normally operates out of six bases across Canada- Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal, Quebec City.

The four-year agreement includes wage increases, improvements to benefits and new language to improve working conditions.

“I want to thank the members for their solidarity and the bargaining committee for pushing back on concessions and reaching an agreement we can all be proud of,” said Armann.

“The fact is these pilots are still waiting for the federal government to support the airline industry with a recovery plan as airlines such as Sunwing continue to lose millions,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Instead of helping, the government continues to impose more travel restrictions without also coming up with a government assistance package as many other nations have done.”

Unifor has been demanding a national aviation plan for months, and has held rallies, presented to parliamentary committees and has actively lobbied for a national recovery plan for the aviation industry that includes financial support for workers.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

Sunwing takes delivery of first two Boeing 737 MAXs since grounding

Sunwing Airlines yesterday (February 3) took delivery of the first two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for a Canadian carrier since the grounding.
One of the aircraft was the pictured C-FTXF (msn 43303, ln: 7571) (below).  It was flown to Toronto.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.
The other MAX aircraft was C-FTXE which was flown to Vancouver.
Sunwing Airlines aircraft photo gallery:
Sunwing Airlines aircraft slide show:

Pilots represented by Unifor Local 7378 have reached a tentative agreement with Sunwing Airlines

Unifor has issued this statement:

Pilots represented by Unifor Local 7378 have reached a tentative agreement with Sunwing Airlines.

“I applaud the leadership of Unifor 7378 for their grit and determination in fighting for a collective agreement that benefits our members during these challenging times,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Given all of our members are furloughed or inactive and the  industry is experiencing unprecedented losses while the federal government continues to hold back on any dedicated financial support for airline workers, it is truly remarkable that our bargaining team was able to achieve gains.”

The details of the tentative agreement will be presented to the members for ratification votes over the next two weeks.

“I am proud of our bargaining team for standing strong and defending our members as the global effects of the pandemic loomed significantly over this round of bargaining,” said Barret Armann, Local 7378 President. “Though we are experiencing what may be the worst time in history for air travel, our promise to get our members back to work is achieved in this contract.”

The Unifor 7378 Sunwing Pilot collective agreement expired on November 30, 2020.

Unifor represents 451 pilots at Sunwing Airlines Inc. who operate out of six bases across Canada- Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal, Quebec City.

Sunwing returns to responsible travel, first flights since March take off

Sunwing Travel Group made this announcement:

Sunwing Airlines has returned to the skies, with the first flight since March taking off from Toronto Pearson International Airport and landing in Punta Cana International Airport on Friday, November 6, 2020. The flight marked Sunwing’s return to responsible travel, after grounding its aircraft for over 230 days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: Sunwing. Sunwing Travel Group’s acting Chief Medical Advisor on board first Sunwing Airlines flight to Cancun and documenting Safe with Sunwing commitment throughout journey

Although the operator has been sending Canadians to the tropics since August with the help of third-party carriers, Friday’s flight marked the official return to service for Sunwing Airlines. Travellers can look forward to departures from Toronto to Punta Cana on Fridays and Sundays, to Montego Bay on Fridays and Saturdays, and to Cancun on Saturdays and Sundays. All customers will enjoy a seamless travel experience with flights either on board Sunwing Airlines or a third-party carrier.

In September, Sunwing partnered with global healthcare leader Medcan to advise on the Safe with Sunwingprogram, and to provide ongoing support for customer and employee health and safety. Dr. Peter Nord, Chief Medical Officer at Medcan, was appointed as Sunwing Travel Group’s acting Chief Medical Advisor and was on board the inaugural Sunwing flight from Toronto to Cancun on Saturday, November 7.

“I had the pleasure of travelling with Sunwing from Toronto to Cancun this weekend,” commented Dr. Peter Nord. “The journey was seamless from check-in and boarding to the flight and resort arrival. The high Canadian standards that Sunwing has implemented are evident through every step of the vacation journey. I can confidently say that, with the Safe with Sunwing commitment in place, Canadians can travel with peace of mind.”

Dr. Nord recently took the time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions that Canadians have about travelling safely with Sunwing. You can view the first of his of his three-part “Ask Me Anything” video series on Sunwing’s YouTube channel and website.

Dr. Nord will also be broadcasting live from Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa throughout the week on Sunwing’s social media channels, including Instagram and Facebook, sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the resort amenities and safety protocols that Canadian travellers can look forward to when they vacation at Sunwing’s Royalton Luxury Resorts.

Sunwing has spent months developing the Safe with Sunwing commitment to help customers travel with peace of mind. As the only travel provider that owns the airline that customers fly on, the transfer buses that travel to and from hotels, and over 30 Sunwing-owned-and-operated hotels throughout the tropics, Sunwing can ensure that the highest Canadian health and safety standards are in place throughout the entire vacation experience so customers can enjoy a hassle-free getaway.

Most recently, Sunwing became the first Canadian airline to treat all aircraft with AEGIS Microbe Shield®, a powerful antimicrobial spray that controls and prevents the growth of bacteria on surfaces, as part of the Safe with Sunwing commitment.

Sunwing Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Sunwing partners with Swoop to offer customers even more travel options this winter

Sunwing Airlines has made this announcement:

Canadians looking for a tropical escape that’s easily accessible from their local airport have even more options to choose from this coming winter thanks to a new agreement between leading tour operator, Sunwing, and ultra-low-cost airline, Swoop.

Cancun, Mexico Aerial Photo (CNW Group/Swoop)

Sunseekers departing from Hamilton, London, Abbotsford, Edmonton and Winnipeg can now book vacation packages with the tour operator that include a Swoop flight.

All Sunwing vacation packages with Swoop flights include one complimentary item of checked luggage, round-trip airport to hotel transfers, assistance from Sunwing Experiences representatives throughout, the option to benefit from savings by pre-purchasing Sunwing Experiences excursions at the time of booking and more.

Vacationers departing from Hamilton can now select from both Sunwing’s and Swoop’s regular flight services to Cancun – giving them the choice of four different departure days each week (including both Saturday and Sunday). Vacationers from Edmonton will enjoy additional weekend departure options to reach Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. Finally, the addition of Swoop flight services from Winnipeg to Los Cabos has tripled the choice of departure days for customers travelling from the region, with new flights options departing Sundays and Wednesdays.

Sunwing Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Sunwing announces the return of twice-weekly flights from Montreal to Havana and also Moncton – Miami

Sunwing has announced it is offering a direct flight service twice a week on Mondays and Fridays from Montreal to Havana, from December 13, 2019 until March 13, 2020.

Celebrating its 500th anniversary this year, the capital city of Cuba, Havana has a rich history and fascinating heritage to uncover. Visitors will feel like they’ve travelled back in time as they stroll along the cobblestone streets of Old Havana, lined with picturesque Baroque architecture and classic American cars. Travellers can even follow in the footsteps of famous author Ernest Hemingway, who called the city home for over 20 years, by discovering some of his favourite old haunts on a Sunwing Experiences excursion.

In other news, the company has also announced it plans to fly direct to Miami from Moncton this winter. A new destination added by Sunwing for this coming season, travellers can experience all that this premier beach and nightlife destination has to offer with convenient weekly Saturday departures from February 8, 2020 until May 2, 2020 inclusive.

The first carrier to offer a direct flight service to Miami from Greater Moncton, Sunwing is expected to be the only airline offering this route for the coming season. With the addition of Miami, sunseekers departing from Greater Moncton now have six of the tour operator’s most popular southern destinations available on their doorstep including Puerto Plata and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Montego Bay in Jamaica, Cancun, Mexico and Varadero, Cuba.