Sunwing has announced that it has reached a new agreement with the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation (CEEFC) to provide financing for customer refunds.
Customers with non-refundable bookings whose vacations were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and who have received a future travel credit or opted to use their Worry Free cancellation waiver and received travel vouchers, can now request a full refund to their original form of payment.
The new policy applies to hotels, flights and vacation packages booked on or before June 25, 2021 for scheduled travel from February 1, 2020 onwards.
Eligible customers and travel agents must submit a request through the online COVID-19 refund request form by August 27, 2021.
Customers who booked through a travel agent or a third party must contact their travel agent or third party to request a refund.
"Travel agent commissions will not be recalled," reads a release issued on Friday (June 25).
Regular terms and conditions will apply to any refund requests made after 11:59 p.m. EST on August 27, 2021.
Those who will not be eligible for a refund under the new policy include: customers who already received a refund, including a refund from an insurance provider; customers who received a refund from initiating a chargeback, or have a chargeback currently in progress; or customers who transferred their travel credit to another person not named on the booking.
Customers who wish to keep their Sunwing Vacations travel credit may do so and can take advantage of incredible savings on their future dream getaway. Future travel credits are available for travel up to September 30, 2026.
More information on the refund process and eligibility can be found on Sunwing’s website.
Up to $100M in support
The CEEFC will provide Sunwing with a repayable loan of up to $100 million so it can "expand its refund policy to provide refunds to eligible customers who were issued a travel credit due to vacation cancellations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic," the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation said Friday.
The repayable loan is separate from an existing LEEFF loan, agreed to in February 2021, whereby CEEFC is making $348 million of liquidity available to Sunwing Vacations Inc. and Sunwing Airlines Inc. to protect jobs in Canada's airline sector.
LEEFF provides bridge financing to Canada's largest employers whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through private market financing.
The facility provides large Canadian employers with access to credit to preserve jobs and continue operations during this recovery period.
Among other key principles, the terms of LEEFF impose limits on executive compensation and restrict the payment of dividends and other distributions by a recipient.
"Canadians should have confidence in our air sector"
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra took to his Twitter Friday morning to comment on the news.
"Canadians should have confidence in our air sector," Minister Alghabra wrote. "That's why we've put refunds as a precondition for any agreement with airlines."
"I'm pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement with Sunwing that will refund ALL pandemic-related cancellations."
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