WestJet buys Sunwing | ADM fears the loss of direct flights to Toronto

Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) is concerned that Sunwing’s presence in Montréal-Trudeau will decrease as the tour operator transitions into the fold of WestJet – a transaction currently under consideration by Ottawa. The nonprofit believes it could lose direct flights to Toronto.

Posted at 7:54pm

Julian Arsenal

Julian Arsenal
The press

Concerned, the manager and operator of Montréal-Trudeau and Mirabel airports, who is trying to get back to health after his financial situation was weakened by the pandemic, has decided to call on Transport Canada as part of the consultations conducted by federal authorities on the suggested grouping.

“While we do not oppose WestJet’s acquisition of Sunwing, we are concerned that this transaction could impact YUL’s service,” he said The press Anne Marcotte, Director of Public Relations at ADM. We want to offer our passengers a quality service. »

The organization sent a letter to Transport Canada in recent weeks, signed by Stéphane Lapierre, vice president of operations and aerial development. the globe and mail got a copy of the letter.

If the marriage is confirmed, ADM fears Sunwing, which specializes in vacation travel, will switch direct flights to Toronto’s Pearson Airport, where WestJet is well established. Passengers would then be routed to Queen City via connecting flights before boarding a plane to their final destination.

efforts under threat

In the letter, ADM argues that the aforementioned scenario, if it materializes, would undermine years of efforts to improve the number of point-to-point services popular with travelers at Montreal-Trudeau. However, the document does not suggest possible solutions for Transport Canada. As of Tuesday evening, WestJet and Transport Canada had not responded to questions sent by The press.

The country’s third-busiest airport, Montreal-Trudeau, had seen passenger traffic of 20.3 million people in 2019 before the arrival of COVID-19. Sunwing offered around 30 direct connections from the metropolis this year. According to the letter, the tour operator accounted for 20% of Montreal-Trudeau to sun Destinations activity.


PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

After two years of turmoil, Montreal-Trudeau Airport is trying to turn the page on the pandemic.

The country’s second largest airline, Calgary-based WestJet, announced an agreement to acquire Toronto-based Sunwing and Sunwing Vacations. Sunwing Vacations operates a regional headquarters in Laval. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed as they are two private companies.

While there are always risks, Mehran Ebrahimi, a professor at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) and director of the Observatory of Aeronautics and Civil Aviation, would be surprised by a reduction in Sunwing’s presence in Montreal-Trudeau when the company officially goes under the wing of WestJet.

“Sunwing’s structure does not need an airport as a hub,” says the expert. It’s a small company with its own goals and niches. WestJet doesn’t have that. Why buy a company for its expertise and then break it up? »

However, Mr. Ebrahimi believes it is justified for ADM to show “vigilance” and take steps with Transport Canada to “ensure its territory is protected.”

After a quarter in the red in the first quarter, ADM had posted a surplus of $11 million for the second quarter ended June 30th. After six months, however, the organization reported a deficit of 24 million.

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  • 560
    This is Sunwing’s workforce in Quebec, which employs nearly 2,400 people.

    Source: sunwing

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