Sunwing Travel Group says it will bring back 1,800 employees through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program.
According to the company, this decision will provide Sunwing’s Canada-based employees with additional financial support for the duration of the wage subsidy’s term.
“Sunwing was formed on a vision of not only being a high-quality vacation company, but also providing high-quality jobs for Canadians. Unfortunately, during these unprecedented times we had been forced to reduce our workforce,” said Stephen Hunter, CEO of Sunwing Travel Group.
“Throughout this pandemic, we have continued to explore all options to support our employees and keep as many employed as possible. This generous program from the Government of Canada is critical and will enable us to do just that. Once these travel restrictions are lifted, we have every intention of resuming operations and recalling our employees as soon as it is feasible.”
Sunwing is one of three airlines that has applied to the wage subsidy program so far.
Unifor said that on April 8, Air Canada announced that it would use the emergency funding to top up the wages of more than 3,000 laid-off workers. Jazz Aviation made a similar announcement on April 9.
“We’re pleased to see more employers joining the effort to keep Canada’s airlines working,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s national president. “Economic recovery is impossible without taking care of workers first.”
After suspending all flights in response to the spread of the coronavirus, and the government-imposed travel restrictions, Sunwing said it has focused its efforts on helping support Canada’s collective pandemic response.
“The company’s airline employees and destination representatives worked tirelessly, sending over 400 repatriation flights to 45 destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and Florida and bringing home over 60,000 Canadians, including 3,300 non-Sunwing customers, free of charge,” it said.