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Sunwing offers free seats on repatriation flights to stranded Canadians

Last Updated Mar 19, 2020 at 1:26 pm EDT

A Sunwing Boeing 737-800 passenger plane prepares to land at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Wednesday, August 2, 2017. Sunwing Airlines Ltd. says it is offering seats on its repatriation flights free of charge to any Canadians stranded in sun-kissed parts of the hemisphere, including to non-Sunwing customers.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

TORONTO — Sunwing Airlines Ltd. is offering seats on its repatriation flights free of charge to any Canadians stranded in sun-kissed parts of the hemisphere, including to non-Sunwing customers.

Stephen Hunter, CEO of the carrier’s parent company, says opening up extra capacity is “the Canadian thing to do.”

The travel company aims to fly about 11,000 Canadians back to home soil today, bringing the total number of repatriated Sunwing passengers to more than 33,000.

Thousands of Canadians stuck overseas are continuing to struggle to a way back home as borders close and airlines cut flights in response to the spread of COVID-19.

Sunwing says it expects to have all of its customers home by Monday.

Global Affairs Canada said Tuesday that “Canada has no current plans to repatriate a significant group of people from other countries.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press