WestJet Airlines Ltd. will be purchasing Sunwing Airlines Inc., as competition in the Canadian travel market keeps growing. In a statement released on Wednesday, WestJet said “the transaction will bring together two distinctly Canadian travel and tourism success stories.”
WestJet will create a new tour operator unit headed by Sunwing CEO Stephen Hunter. This will include Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations as separate brands. WestJet said this will increase capacity as it sees an otherwise seasonal aircraft operate year-round. Right now, Sunwing supplements seasonal demand with imported aircraft.
Both airlines are privately held, Sunwing being controlled by the Hunter family and WestJet was purchased by Onex Corp. in 2019. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close late this year. Just after the announcement was made, the federal Competition Bureau said it will review the proposed transaction.
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