“There are consequences for those who break the rules!”
Those were the words of Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, who, on Monday (March 21), announced a new series of penalties that travellers on board the now-infamous “Sunwing party plane” will face for partaking in bad behaviour.
Posting an update to his Twitter account, Minister Alghabra said Transport Canada has issued six new penalties, amounting to $5,000, to passengers on the controversial Dec. 30 flight from Montreal, Quebec to Cancun, Mexico.
There will be five penalties for non-compliance with Transport Canada’s vaccination rules for air travel, as well as one penalty for not wearing a mask on board the flight.
In total, 12 penalties relating to the flight that was chartered by James William Awad, founder of the members-only 111 Private Club, late last year have, so far, been announced by the Government of Canada.
READ MORE: Transport Canada fines passengers on Sunwing "party plane"
Earlier this month, on March 8, Minister Alghabra revealed that six passengers who were not fully vaccinated when they boarded the Mexico-bound flight have received penalties, facing a maximum fine of $5,000 each.
The wild ride last December was flung into a federal investigation – and an international spotlight – after videos from the flight shared on social media showed passengers not wearing masks, smoking vapes, showing off an open bottle of liquor and crowding and dancing in the aisles.
"Certain behaviours reported in connection with the flight on December 30, 2021, are unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Minister Alghabra said earlier this month. “This is why Transport Canada took immediate action. Aviation rules must be respected by everyone, for the sake of everyone's safety.”
READ MORE: Sunwing party flight organizer could face fines for not being a travel agent, passengers fired from jobs
In his tweet on Monday, Alghabra wrote that there would be “more to come!” – either meaning more fines or details into the case – as Transport Canada continues an investigation.
Since Jan. 4, 2022, Ottawa has set out to determine if whether the Aeronautics Act, regulations or requirements pertaining to aviation safety and security were contravened during the wild flight.
The story, since going public in January, has sparked public outrage, including anger on PAX’s own Facebook page, where more than 100 comments were left by readers – the majority of which condemned the group’s behaviour.
READ MORE: “Unacceptable behaviour”: Feds blast maskless influencer party on Sunwing plane
After footage of the partying passengers was circulated by media outlets around the globe, many participants found themselves stranded in Mexico after airlines – Sunwing included – decided that they would not fly the group home.
Real-life consequences caught up with some in the group who returned to Canada to learn that they had been fired from their jobs.
The incident also earned reprimands from federal officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who, on Jan. 5, told reporters that he was "extremely frustrated" by the group’s cavalier actions, which he called “a slap in the face” as Canadians did their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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