Federal Transport Minister Requests Investigation of Sunwing Party Flight to Mexico


Montreal — Federal Transport Minister Omar Argabra has asked Canada Transport to investigate reports of “unacceptable” behavior on recent Sunwing Airlines flights from Montreal to Cancun, Mexico.

A video of the December 30 flight shared on social media seems to show that unmasked passengers are gathering nearby while singing and dancing in the aisles and seats.

In one video, a large bottle of vodka appears to pass between passengers, after which a woman appears to smoke an e-cigarette on an airplane.

The plane was reportedly chartered and some of the passengers were cast members of Quebec’s reality television show.

“I asked Transport Canada to investigate the problem,” Alghabra wrote in a Twitter post. “We must take the risk of COVID seriously!”

Later on Tuesday, Health Minister Argabra, Jean-Yves Duclos and Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino issued a joint statement stating that all three ministers had ordered the departments to investigate.

According to a statement, Transport Canada has contacted the airline and passengers who violate the ministry’s regulations could be fined up to $ 5,000 for each violation.

Lena Kisfarbi, chairman of the local Canadian Civil Service Union, which represents about 1,000 Sunwing flight attendants, also expressed sympathy for Cancun’s flight attendants, calling the passengers’ actions “unacceptable.”

“If you lose control, sometimes you can’t get it back,” she said in a telephone interview.

Adherence to the Mask Regulations has been a “major problem” for the past year, “causing so many offensive behavior” from passengers to flight attendants, she said.

“I don’t know where Transport Canada is about this. Why didn’t you do more?” Kisfalvi asked Alghabra posted a Twitter post at about the same time.

“Are these non-compliant passengers charged? Are they denied boarding in the future? Are they on the flight ban list? Maybe we government told travelers,” See, You may have to take that step to show that it means business here. ” “

In an email statement, Sunwing said passenger behavior on private charter flights was “out of control and violated some Canadian aviation and public health regulations.” The company reported the incident to the Ministry of Transport, as the company’s security department reportedly investigated it.

The airline said it provided the conditions for a tour group leader to ensure the safety of passengers and crew on its return flight to Montreal scheduled for Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, the group did not accept all terms. As a result of continued investigation and the group’s refusal to accept all terms of carriage, we decided to cancel our return flight.” The Sunwing statement states. “We apologize for the inconvenience caused to our passengers.”

On Instagram, 111 Private Club acknowledged the flight’s achievements and described the all-inclusive New Year’s trip to Mexico as the “Best Event of the Year”. I posted a screenshot of a newspaper article about flights with the caption “I made the news”.

James William Awad, who runs the 111 Private Club, did not respond to requests for comments sent through Facebook. 111 There was no reply to the message sent to your private club account.

Statements by Alghabra, Duclos and Mendicino state that the Public Health Agency of Canada and its partners will coordinate the treatment of travelers returning to Canada, and travelers suspected of violating will be referred to PHAC.

He said suspicious or fraudulent documents would be retained and warned that providing false information to Canadian government officials could result in fines of up to $ 750,000, six months’ imprisonment, or both. ..

The statement warns that travelers may be subject to imprisonment of up to three years and / or fines of up to $ 1 million if they endanger or harm the lives of others.

“The Government of Canada continues to advise all Canadians to avoid mandatory trips outside Canada at this time,” the statement concluded.

“We continue to work closely with airlines, airports, and other transportation partners to protect the health of Canadians and Canada’s air transportation system.”

Along Jacob Celebrin and Christopher Reynolds

Canadian press