Takeover of Sunwing by WestJet: the Competition Bureau concerned about vacation packages

WestJet takeover of Sunwing: Competition Bureau worried about vacation packages


WestJet's plans to acquire Sunwing airline and Sunwing Vacations could pose a risk to competition, including on vacation packages, according to the Competition Bureau.

“The elimination of competition between these integrated air carriers and tour operators would likely result in higher prices, loss of choice and diminished service for Canadians,” the Bureau made clear in its report released Wednesday.

Carried out for Transport Canada, the review also indicates that 31 lines between Canada and Mexico or the Caribbean could be affected by these effects. None of these lines, however, would depart from a Quebec airport.

WestJet and Sunwing account for nearly 37% of non-stop capacity between Canada and sun destinations.

Airline carrier WestJet said it received the Bureau's report. “We look forward to bringing this transaction to fruition for the benefit of Canadian travellers, communities and employees,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Group Executive Vice President and Chief People, Business and Sustainability Officer, in a statement. /p>

Recall that WestJet announced last March its wish to buy Sunwing and Sunwing Vacations. However, Transport Canada announced last May that an assessment would be carried out with regard to the public interest.

Transport Canada has until December 5 to submit its assessment to its Minister, Omar Alghabra, who must provide recommendations thereafter.

The closing of the acquisition is expected by the end of 2022, if all regulatory authorizations are obtained.