Sunwing says its has made several key operational improvements to avoid problems in the coming months, and that its winter season is off to a roaring start.
With the official winter season having begun on 1NOV, 2023, Sunwing says it has flown nearly 100,000 customers from across the country on almost 600 Sunwing Airlines flights to dozens of popular destinations in the tropics. Officials said 100% of flights have been successfully completed in the first 17 days of the month.
“We are thrilled with the strong operational results for the start of our winter season, and have invested significantly in enhancing our operations over the past year to provide a more robust and seamless passenger experience," said Len Corrado, President of Sunwing Airlines, which is part of the WestJet Group. "From improving our flight alert system to adding more key roles across the airline, including crew, I am incredibly proud of the work that has been done to enhance our operational readiness and look forward to a record season that will meet if not surpass pre-pandemic travel numbers."
The improvements are no doubt aimed at avoiding the kind of problems that hit the airline last winter, when a major storm descended on Vancouver.
Officials said Sunwing over the past year, has implemented several key measures to bolster its operational readiness for the peak winter season:
- Increased hiring of pilots and cabin crew to support winter operations and to account for any irregular operations, such as inclement weather events, including added reserve coverage for more remote regions in the country;
- Fortified its Operations Control Centre with several added positions across network operations, and increased various administrative roles across the airline;
- Enhanced its Flight Alert system to provide customers with more timely and consistent communication related to any flight disruptions;
- Enhanced its service letter agreements with key service providers to ensure operational efficiencies;
- Operating five aircraft on a wet lease basis with WestJet to support Sunwing's peak operations, including leveraging WestJet crews to support as required, in addition to operating several aircraft on a wet lease basis with Smartwings to further support operational needs for the winter.
"We are excited by the strong start to this winter season, and have already seen an impressive number of bookings for vacation packages and customers travelling in the first half of November," said Andrew Dawson, President of Sunwing Vacations Group. "As the leading vacation provider in Canada, we are proud of the early success this season, and are grateful for the work that's been done by our airline partner Sunwing Airlines to enhance operational readiness for the winter.
“We are ready to deliver a strong season with more vacation packages to more destinations, and can't wait to make even more of our customers' vacation dreams come true this winter,” Dawson added.
Sunwing announced its initial winter schedule in July 2023, which included significant capacity growth over the previous winter season, including more travel options to the customer favourite destinations of Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
New and notable for this winter season are packages from Toronto and Montreal to the Cuban destinations of Cienfuegos and Manzanillo de Cuba. Sunwing Vacations customers can also look forward to more vacation options for destinations in Pacific Mexico, including Los Cabos, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, and more options for travel to Puerto Plata on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.
Sunwing Vacations customers can book their winter getaways through their local travel agent or on Sunwing.ca. Customers also will receive the Sunwing Guarantee on their bookings, including the first bag checked for free, complimentary NexusTours airport transfers in destination for packages with flights on Sunwing Airlines, plus more perks and inclusions.