WestJet takeover of Sunwing approved
The federal government is mulling WestJet Airlines’ acquisition of Sunwing Airlines and Sunwing Vacations.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the decision was “not taken lightly” given the travel chaos that erupted over the winter holidays and left Sunwing passengers stranded abroad for days.
The acquisition, announced last March, will see Calgary-based WestJet bolster its package vacation offerings as it adds the tour operator to its fleet, though they said the two brands will be sold separately.
Last fall, the Competition Bureau warned that a takeover by Canada’s second-largest airline would likely lead to higher prices and reduced service, particularly around package deals.
The transport minister has attached conditions to the acquisition that include extending Sunwing’s packages to five new cities, maintaining capacity on affected routes and both the holiday business’ headquarters in Toronto and regional Montreal for at least five years.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 10, 2023.
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