Sunwing Airlines is rescuing stranded Canadians at the sun destinations it serves and offering its empty seats to anyone, including non-customers, who needs a ride home. The airline began fetching its customers from the Caribbean and Mexico last week but there is some spare capacity that it hopes won’t go to waste. “We understand a lot of Canadians are still stranded outside the country and struggling to get home,” said Stephen Hunter, CEO of Sunwing Travel Group. “That’s why we want to open up any extra capacity we have. It’s the Canadian thing to do.”
The leisure travel carrier planned to launch 400 repatriation flights by Monday and foot the $26 million bill itself. The federal government has said it won’t be paying for anyone to get home. Those who need a ride can simply show up at the Sunwing counter in the airport serving their sun vacation spot and if there’s a seat available they can have it. Meanwhile, WestJet is taking some heat from its customers by refusing refunds for flights cancelled by COVID-19. Customers will instead get credit toward future travel.