This story was updated on Sunday, March 22nd at 10:01 p.m.
As part of its efforts to fly Canadians home amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Sunwing returned more than 5,000 people on Saturday (March 21st), bringing the carrier's total number of repatriated travellers to more than 60,000.
That total includes more than 3,000 stranded Canadian travellers across the Caribbean, Mexico, Cuba and Florida who were offered seats free of charge.
The carrier announced last week that it would be giving away any remaining seats on its repatriation flights to any Canadians stranded in destination.
“We understand a lot of Canadians are still stranded outside the country and struggling to get home,” said Stephen Hunter, CEO of Sunwing Travel Group. “That’s why we want to open up any extra capacity we have. It’s the Canadian thing to do.”
Sunwing began its repatriation efforts on March 16th and the company expects to have all of its customers home by Monday March 23rd, at which time all Sunwing flights will be temporarily suspended.
Sunwing estimates that it will be operating almost 400 flights and spending more than $26 million to bring Canadians home safely, at no extra cost to the customer, the company stated.
Canadians looking to return home on a Sunwing flight should check the most up to date flight times here.
If a northbound flight is operating from their destination, they should make their way to the departure airport and present themselves to the Sunwing Airlines check in counter.
If space remains prior to departure at the closure of check in, any available seats will be offered to Canadians or Canadian permanent residents free of charge.
Given the unprecedented situation, the focus of Sunwing and it destination team remains on the repatriation of our customers.
The carrier is therefore asking people refrain from calling them since availability can only be confirmed at the airport ahead of the closure of check in for each flight service.
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!