According to CBC News, the group flew from Montreal to Cancun on a Sunwing flight that was privately chartered by promoters 111 Private Club on December 30. However, footage of the flight showed that it quickly turned into a rowdy party that blatantly disobeyed COVID safety regulations with maskless guests filling the aisle to drink, dance and vape together ahead of the six-day, all-inclusive event. At least one person has already tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result, Sunwing canceled the group's return flight to "ensure the safety of crew and passengers," per a statement. The airline's decision apparently came after 111 Private Club's James William Awad refused to accept all of Sunwing's terms, as Awad said "Sunwing refused to provide meals to the group for a [five-hour] flight." Even so, he went on to insist he agreed to most of the terms, including paying for in-flight security.
At least two other airlines have also declined to fly the attendees back, including Air Transat and Air Canada. So far, Air Canada has denied a total of 19 people, though the airline told CBC it's been "difficult" to identify everyone without the original Sunwing flight manifest. Granted, the outlet also reported that about 15 people who made it back to Montreal were detained and held for two hours by authorities before being released.
During a Wednesday briefing, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the videos "a slap in the face," adding that he was "extremely frustrated" to see these people "putting themselves, putting their fellow citizens, putting airline workers at risk by being completely irresponsible."
The Canadian government has also confirmed that the departments of Transport, Public Safety and Health are all investigating the situation. Partygoers potentially face up to $5,000 Canadian dollars in fines for each on-board offense. Not only that, but anyone convicted of endangering others or giving Canadian border officials false information will also receive additional fines and/or jail time.
Read CBC News's full report here.
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