WestJet Group has updated its targeted timeline to complete the integration of Sunwing Airlines (WG, Toronto Pearson) into WestJet (WS, Calgary), delaying it by six months, the company confirmed to ch-aviation.

Moving all of Sunwing’s B737-8s and B737-800s to WestJet’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) “has shifted to April 27, 2025, in time to fly a singular summer 2025 network schedule, from the Group’s original ambitious integration date of October 26, 2024,” a WestJet spokesperson said.

In the meantime, both carriers will continue business as usual in their winter 2024/2025 schedules, she added. Nonetheless, WestJet Group intends to integrate as much of the leisure carrier as possible by its original date. However, union members will be integrated in a phased approach, meeting training and aircraft transition schedules by the end of April.

In 2023, WestJet Group completed the successful acquisition of Sunwing Airlines and Sunwing Vacations. Similarly, the company absorbed its LCC brand Swoop into its operations in November.

By doing so, the group aimed to increase its footprint in the Canadian leisure market. In a May 2024 article posted on its website, it said it would be serving 39 destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean this year, ten more than in 2022, reaching about a 45% market share in this segment. Additionally, one in two vacation packages sold in Canada will be sold through the various brands making up the Sunwing Vacations Group, it added.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that WestJet’s fleet comprises 179 aircraft, including thirty-nine B737-700s, thirty-six B737-8s, forty-six B737-800s, four B737-800(BCF)s, seven B787-9s, and forty-seven DHC-8-Q400s operated by subsidiary WestJet Encore (WR, Calgary). Sunwing Airlines has 22 in-house aircraft - nine B737-8s and thirteen B737-800s - plus two more -800s wet-leased from Smartwings (Czechia) (QS, Prague Václav Havel).