Transport Canada Fined 6 Quebec Sunwing Flight Passengers As Much As $5,000 Each

They weren't fully vaccinated when they boarded the now-infamous flight to Cancun.

Senior Editor
A Sunwing plane.

A Sunwing plane.

As an investigation continues, Transport Canada announced it has issued penalties to six passengers aboard the now-infamous Quebec Sunwing flight to Cancun on December 30. The penalties could carry fines as high as $5,000.

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said the six people were not fully vaccinated when they boarded the charter flight despite a federal vaccination requirement for air travellers.

Transport Canada added that even more penalties are expected.

The flight made international headlines — and became late-night show fodder — after videos and photos surfaced showing passengers partying maskless on their way to Mexico. Local Quebec reality television stars and influencers were among the group.

Sunwing subsequently cancelled their return flight. Air Canada and Air Transat also prohibited the partiers from using their airlines to get back to Canada. Social media went ablaze with jokes and rumours of influencers trapped in Yucatán.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the passengers "a gang de sans-desseins" and "Ostrogoths."

The media frenzy made some group members, including trip organizer James William Awad and "the vaper," household names. Awad and his multi-building estate on the North Shore have been the focus of particular media scrutiny.

"Certain behaviours reported in connection with the flight on December 30, 2021, are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. This is why Transport Canada took immediate action." Alghabra said in a March 8 statement.

"Aviation rules must be respected by everyone, for the sake of everyone's safety. Transport Canada will continue to investigate and issue all necessary penalties."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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