Transport Canada fines passengers on Sunwing party flight

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says his department has fined six passengers who were onboard a Sunwing flight last year that devolved into a raucous onboard party.

Videos of the Dec. 30 charter voyage from Montreal to Cancun, Mexico, shared on social media show unmasked passengers in close proximity singing and dancing in the aisle and on seats as some clutch bottles of liquor, snap selfies and vape.

Transport Canada says a half-dozen passengers who were not fully vaccinated when they boarded have now received penalties that could reach a maximum of $5,000 each. Under COVID-19 rules, all passengers must be fully vaccinated to board a flight departing Canada.

Alghabra says “certain behaviours” reported in connection with the holiday voyage were “unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Transport Canada launched the ongoing investigation on Jan. 4 to determine whether travellers violated aviation safety and security rules.

Sunwing has said in an email that passengers — some were Quebec-based social media influencers — violated aviation regulations and public health rules with “unruly behaviour,” prompting an internal probe.

The flight took off about two weeks after the federal government advised Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2022.

Feature image – Paul Chiasson – The Canadian Press