Federal transport minister asks for investigation into Sunwing party flight to Mexico
Unmasked passengers appeared to be vaping, sharing bottle of vodka
Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says he has asked Transport Canada to investigate reports of "unacceptable'' behaviour on a recent Sunwing Airlines flight to Cancun, Mexico.
Videos of the Dec. 30 flight shared on social media appear to show passengers not wearing masks as they gather in close proximity, dancing in the aisle and on seats. In one video, a large bottle of vodka appears to be passed among passengers.
According to reports, the plane had been chartered and some of the passengers were cast members from Quebec reality television shows.
Alghabra said in a post on Twitter that the risks of COVID-19 need to be taken seriously.
I am aware of the reports of unacceptable behavior on a Sunwing flight. I have asked Transport Canada to investigate the matter. We must take the risks of COVID seriously!—@OmarAlghabra
Rena Kisfalvi, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees local that represents about 1,000 Sunwing flight attendants, also called the behaviour unacceptable.
In a statement, Sunwing says it notified Transport Canada about the behaviour and its security department is investigating.
"The health and safety of our employees and passengers is our top priority," Sunwing said. The passengers' behaviour was "unruly and contravened several Canadian Aviation Regulations as well as public health regulations."
It also said it set conditions for the group's return to Montreal Jan. 5 but that "unfortunately, the group did not accept all the terms." As a result, Sunwing has cancelled the flight home.
With files from Brennan Neill