(Calgary) WestJet announced plans Friday to shutter Sunwing Airlines and integrate the low-cost carrier into its core operations by October next year.
WestJet, which bought the Toronto-based company’s main aviation and vacation divisions in May as part of a major market consolidation, said Sunwing’s 18 Boeing 737s and 2,000 employees would join the company’s operations. Calgary carrier as part of a “smooth transition.”
WestJet and Sunwing together account for 37% of seat capacity on direct flights to sun destinations, and 72% of those from Western Canada, according to a Competition Bureau report released last fall.
As a condition of Ottawa’s approval of the Sunwing acquisition, both parties committed to maintaining capacity on the most affected routes and retaining Sunwing Vacations’ head office in Toronto, as well as having a regional social service in Montreal for at least five years.
WestJet is also preparing to integrate its low-cost subsidiary Swoop under its flagship banner by the end of next month, after reaching a new collective agreement that puts pilots from both carriers on an equal footing when it comes to pay.