Excuse me, dahrlings, but...

Hunting For a Buyer

The latest drum beat in the travel jungle is that Sunwing airlines’ fearless big game hunter is tracking a buyer, dahrlings.

You’re probably letting your imagination go with this one, Pumpkins … picturing a tattered loincloth, pointy spear, flexy muscles and glistening sweat – but don’t be ridiculous, dahrlings. Stephen Hunter doesn’t sweat. The man is one of the coolest operators in travel.

It’s genetics, Pumpkins. As the progeny of a rare breed of Canadian crooner, he learned to stalk by the light of the silvery moon and did it his way.

Unlike papa, he normally shies away from the spotlight. But two weeks ago Stephen was spotted making a public endorsement of the merger of rivals Air Canada and Transat. A grand gesture, to be sure.

This was closely followed by another juicy news morsel leaked to the Globe on Friday – that Sunwing Airlines has a suitor.

Well, well. We’re like Canada’s Big Box Airline Store – buy in bulk while quantities last.

I’m thinking all that wet leasing and limp marginals can feel emasculating after a while – compared to erecting profitable hotels. Offloading the airline makes perfect sense. And we all know Pierre Karl Peladeau has such a hard on for an airline, he’d probably straddle a dry lease with no bottom line before you can find the lubricant.

But thinking back to the AC/TS endorsement, I can’t help but wonder how Sunwing would benefit from the competition bureau approving that takeover? Hmm…. let’s see… it could set a positive precedent if, say, for instance, Onex were pursuing WG to add to its WS stable.

But does WestJet really need more aircraft when theirs are gathering dust, dahrlings? Could be Sunwing’s slots and routes they’re after now that Swoop is working YYZ turf.

As my 3rd husband used to say, “one good slot keeps the plane aloft”. I don’t make this stuff up, dahrlings.

It’s all conjecture at this point, Pumpkins. Hunter himself apparently says the report was all an overblown misunderstanding.

Big boardroom business is beyond my scope. Little bedroom business is about all my runway can handle these days.

Ivanna Gabbalot


Part legend, part myth, all woman: Ivanna Gabbalot is OJ’s gossip columnist and considers herself the industry’s conscience. Equally annoying to Open Jaw management and inflated egos in C-suites everywhere, Ivanna works infrequently, preferring to snipe from the sidelines.

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