Sunwing says it has kicked off the winter season with strong operational performance, flying almost 100,000 customers, on nearly 600 flights across Canada, to dozens of south destinations during the first two weeks of November.
And, of those flights during that period, 100 per cent of them were successfully completed, the airline says.
“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, in a press release. “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.”
Ready for winter
Building on lessons learned from last winter’s operational breakdown, when a winter storm during the holidays crippled flight networks across Canada, Sunwing has implemented several measures to bolster its operational readiness for the peak winter season. It includes:
- 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.”
More capacity, destinations
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 options 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.