Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says he is “aware of the reports of unacceptable behavior on a Sunwing flight” to Cancun, Mexico and has asked Transport Canada to investigate the matter.
“I have asked Transport Canada to investigate the matter. We must take the risks of COVID seriously!” – Alghabra tweeted yesterday.
The plane was chartered and some of the passengers were cast members from Quebec reality television shows, according to reports.
Videos of the December 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, CBC reported.
In a statement, Sunwing said it had notified Transport Canada about the behaviour which is being investigated by its security department.
“The health and safety of our employees and passengers is our top priority,” the statement read. The passengers’ behaviour was “unruly and contravened several Canadian Aviation Regulations as well as public health regulations.”
Sunwing says it has cancelled the flight home today as “unfortunately, the group did not accept all the terms” it set.
Air Transat is also refusing to bring them back.
According to a CP24 report, Air Transat says passengers who were partying maskless on a recent Sunwing flight from Montreal to Mexico will not be allowed on its planes as they attempt to return to Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the Sunwing incident a “slap in the face”.
“It’s a slap in the face to see people putting themselves, putting their fellow citizens, putting airline workers at risk by being completely irresponsible,” Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday.