|This article relies on references to primary sources. (November 2011)|
|Parent company||Sunwing Travel Group|
|Key people||Colin Hunter (Chairman)
Stephen Hunter (President and CEO)
Mark Williams (President)
Sunwing Airline, Inc. is a Canadian airline headquartered in Etobicoke, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,1 offering scheduled and chartered services to Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Central America and South America, and domestic services during summer. It is a subsidiary of Sunwing Travel Group and a sister company to Sunwing Vacations/Vacances Sunwing, Signature Vacations/Vacances Signature and SellOffVacations, Canada's largest discount travel retailer.2 Its main Canadian bases are at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport. It is also the only airline which offers nonstop flights to Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic departing from Bagotville Airport, Val-d'Or Airport and Sept-Îles Airport.
Sunwing Vacations started its in-house airline in November 2005 using Boeing 737-800s to operate domestic flights and flights from Canada to the USA, Mexico, the Caribbean. Since then, its president is Mark Williams, who had been president of Skyservice and had worked with Wardair and Canadian Airlines.citation needed
Sunwing Airlines merged with Signature and SellOffVacations on September 29, 2009, consequently signing a partnership deal with United Kingdom-based TUI Travel which acquired 49% of Sunwing Travel and a 25% voting interest in the venture.3
In December 2010, parent company Sunwing Travel Group acquired Caribbean Nexus Tours, one of the leading ground handlers and incoming tour operator in the Dominican Republic and Mexico, giving more destination tour choices and flexibility to the Sunwing Group.
Sunwing began to compete with Air Transat in operating summer charter flights between Canada and European destination in the summer of 2011. Two Boeing 767-300ER were leased from EuroAtlantic Airways for these services, which connected Toronto to Lisbon, London, Paris, Dublin, Rome, Porto and Amsterdam, and connected Montreal to Paris.4 In the summer of 2012, Glasgow and Barcelona were added to the list of European destinations. Since then, all flights from Montreal to Paris have been operated in partnership with sister company Corsairfly.
In February 2012 Sunwing Travel Group announced the 100% acquisition of United States-based Vacation Express. This acquisition would allow Sunwing Airlines to have a more even revenue flow throughout the year, especially during the slower summer months in Canada. Vacation Express' peak selling period being during the summer months, counter-seasonal to Canada. It will operate flights from Atlanta, Cincinnati and Nashville to Cancun, Punta Cana, and Montego Bay. All flights would be operated on Fridays, Saturday, Sundays & Mondays. The service was scheduled from May 25 to October 27, 2012.
As of April 2012, Sunwing Airlines employed over 1800 staff.citation needed
In early 2013 Sunwing announced the termination of its seasonal flights to Europe.5
As part of the Sunwing Travel Group, Sunwing Airlines was named one of Canada’s 100 fastest growing companies by the magazine Profit 100 for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.6
Sunwing Airlines was voted by Quebec travel agents as “Airline of the Year” in the travel trade publication Express Voyage in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. This daily electronic newsletter is targeted at travel professionals across the province and is subscribed to by 11,000 readers.7 The ceremony for "Les Mentions d’Honneur 2011" of Express Voyage took place on December 20, 2011 and Sunwing Airlines won the award of "Airline of the Year" for the fifth consecutive year.8
In 2010 Sunwing Airlines was one of the nominees at the World Travel Awards in the category "North America's Leading Low-Cost Airline". Sunwing was the only Canadian operator in the charter/low cost industry to be nominated. the other contenders were Virgin America, Spirit Airlines, AirTran Airways, Southwest Airlines, USA3000 Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Frontier Airlines.8
In 2011 and 2012, Sunwing Airlines again represented Canada at the World Travel Awards as a nominee in the category of "North America's Leading Low-Cost Airline". The ceremony for the 2012 edition was to take place in Turks and Caicos on 14 September 2012.9
The Sunwing Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft:10
|Boeing 737-800||33||189||All equipped with blended winglets.|
As of March 2014, the Sunwing Airlines fleet consists of 33 Boeing 737-800 aircraft with an average fleet age of 6.8 years, the second youngest of any airline in Canada (after Porter Airlines).11 Each of the 737's are equipped with winglets and a 189 passenger seat layout in a high-density economy class cabin. For the 2013 winter season, Sunwing increased its fleet substantially by leasing additional aircraft on a short term basis from Thomson Airways (United Kingdom), Travel Service Airlines (Czech Republic), Jetairfly (Belgium), and TUIfly (Germany). During the 2011 and 2012 summer season, Sunwing had leased two Boeing 767-300ER aircraft from EuroAtlantic Airways (Portugal) along with their flight crews, however Sunwing has opted to use codeshare agreements on their European flights for the 2013 summer season.
- "Contact us." Sunwing. Retrieved on September 30, 2009.
- Sunwing, Tui Make A Deal. Expressvoyage.ca. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
- "Sunwing Airlines European Program – Official site". Sunwing.ca. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
- Sunwing no longer offering seasonal Canada-Europe flights. ch-aviation.ch. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
- "Sunwing Airlines Press Release – Official site". Sunwing.ca. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
- "Express Voyage Press Release – Official site". Expressvoyage.ca. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
- "Express Voyage official web site". Retrieved 2011-12-14.
- "World Travel Awards nominees 2012 – Official site". worldtravelawards.com. Retrieved 2012-07-03.
- Sunwing Airline Fleet Details and History
- Planespotters.net - Operator Aircraft List Canada
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