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Sunwing cancelling flights from North Bay and Sudbury

'There were certainly a number of people that were looking forward to leaving from here but unfortunately not in the numbers that Sunwing needed to make the program viable'
File photo.

A well-known travel agency based out of North Bay has confirmed that Sunwing is cancelling its winter flight schedule effective February 1 out of North Bay's Jack Garland Airport. 

Chris Mayne, owner of Mayne Travel in North Bay, confirmed to BayToday the news which came only three days after Jack Garland Airport officials stated there would not be any future issues with North Bay Sunwing flights this winter. 

As of Tuesday, both North Bay and Sudbury have been removed from the Sunwing website as departure options to Cuba.  

"As of Tuesday this week, we could see that there was no space to be booked from Sunwing from North Bay or Sudbury in the months of February, March or April to the southern destinations so that certainly raised some flags about either a potential change, or that they were looking at cancelling the program," said Chris Mayne, who is also a member of North Bay city council.  

"The final email came in on Wednesday afternoon. It was certainly very disappointing for a lot of people looking to leave from North Bay and Sudbury to avoid those crowds and additional costs leaving from Toronto. It is a little bit frustrating that the North Bay flight will still be departing from Kitchener, it is just the North Bay piece that they have cancelled." 

The airline has been under scrutiny over the holidays as hundreds of passengers were affected by Sunwing flight disruptions, which began to pile up on Dec. 22 due to weather.

See related: Sunwing 'incredibly sorry' after holiday travel disruptions 

See related: No issues for travellers flying Sunwing out of North Bay

Mayne says he appreciates Sunwing returning to North Bay for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. 

"There were certainly a number of people that were looking forward to leaving from here but unfortunately not in the numbers that Sunwing needed to make the program viable but we hope they will offer the flights from North Bay again in the future," noted Mayne.  

"Starting with the weather delays around the Christmas period and the other airlines to be fair, have had a cascading series of delays and issues that do try everyone's patience. For the agents and the people travelling it does create delays and additional work in re-booking and changing plans. I think this time of year people still want to get away for the most part it is a little disappointing that they are not going to be flying from North Bay but as we are contacting people today and the next few days we expect most people will re-book either for the same dates out of Toronto or dates close by."

While appreciative of Sunwing's efforts, Mayne admits the Sunwing cancellations of flights out of North Bay and Sudbury are causing his staff some significant extra work during a time of year when travel agents are already having a challenge trying to keep up with the demand for winter travel. 

Back in August, Sunwing announced the airline was returning to Jack Garland Airport to provide weekly flights to Varadero, Cuba from mid-December through April, 2023. 

Sunwing media responded to the situation Thursday afternoon. 

“Due to extenuating circumstances, we regret to inform our customers in Sudbury and North Bay that we are cancelling our winter program from both airports, effective February 1, 2023' Sunwing told BayToday. 

"This impacts weekly flights from Sudbury to Punta Cana starting on February 1 and from North Bay to Varadero starting on February 2. 

"Sunwing is offering impacted customers the ability to transfer their vacation package to same-day departures from Toronto along with a $100 CAD future travel credit as a goodwill gesture. Alternatively, customers can choose to cancel their vacations for a full refund to their original form of payment, if preferred.

"We sincerely apologize to our valued customers and airport partners in Sudbury and North Bay for the inconvenience and disruption. The difficult decision to cancel winter flights beginning in February was deemed necessary due to operational and business constraints that would prevent us from delivering the standards of service our customers expect when travelling with Sunwing."

Sunwing says customers can contact their local travel agent or the Sunwing Sales Centre at 1-877-786-9464 to change their departure gateway or initiate their cancellation.

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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