According to a published report, an unnamed buyer has offered to purchase Sunwing Travel Group’s airline division.
Sunwing CEO Stephen Hunter revealed the offer in a report published Friday by The Globe & Mail, but he would not divulge the suitor due to a non-disclosure agreement, but said he would do so in the coming weeks.
In addition to its airline, Sunwing operates 45 resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, tour providers, a charter jet service and other vacation and hotel brands. The company is 51-per-cent owned by Hunter’s family and the other 49 per cent by Germany-based TUI Group. Sunwing Travel Group employs approximately 3,000 people in Canada.
Hunter told The Globe that selling the airline would be difficult due to the integrated nature of Sunwing’s divisions.
“The airline is a vehicle in order to get our package customer from point A to point B. So our airline really is the cost department within our tour operator. And therefore, one really can’t go without the other,” he told The Globe. “And of course, Sunwing vacations provides about 30 per cent of the customers to our own hotels.”
An unnamed airline executive who was not authorized to speak publicly, was cited in the Globe report as saying that WestJet Airlines Ltd. and Sunwing have held talks in the past, but said he didn’t know if WestJet was the current suitor.
Earlier this week, Sunwing took advantage of $375-million of federal financing under the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility program, becoming the the first Canadian carrier to use the program.
Mark Stachiew Editor
Mark Stachiew is a Montreal-based travel journalist who’s been exploring and writing about the world for more than 30 years. When he’s not travelling somewhere or grappling with words on a page, he curates his own collection of travel gear.