WestJet-Sunwing merger faces federal review



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WestJet Airlines’ planned acquisition of Sunwing Airlines and Sunwing Vacations will be subject to a public interest review that includes its potential impacts on travellers, the federal government said Friday.

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Transport Canada, in a release, said the review would include input from the federal competition commissioner, airline industry representatives, other levels of government and the public.

“The assessment will include an analysis of the economic benefits or challenges resulting from the proposed transaction,” the release states.

Consumers can provide input online at letstalktransportation.ca.

Transport Canada has 200 days — until Dec. 5 — to complete its review. No timeframe was given for a final decision on the sale announced in March.

A new tour operating business unit within WestJet Group — to include Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations — will be led by Sunwing CEO Stephen Hunter and will be headquartered in Toronto, the two companies previously announced. WestJet Group will maintain its headquarters in Calgary.

Sunwing owns 45 hotels in tourism destinations throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. The company has a handful of Boeing 737s to service these locations but has to lease an additional 30 planes through TUI to meet the demand of peak seasons.


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