Influencers and actors who took a privately chartered plane from Montreal to Cancun may be facing fines for failing to comply with Canada’s air travel rules.
A chartered Sunwing flight was booked by a private club that organized a trip from Montreal to Cancun on December 30, featuring dozens of social media influencers. Videos began circulating on Instagram showing passengers dancing in the aisles without masks, drinking, and smoking.
According to the Journal de Montréal, Sunwing chose to cancel the 154-passenger return flight, which was scheduled to depart from Cancun on January 5. Sunwing says the group “did not accept the terms and conditions” for the private charter return flight.
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The Journal de Montréal reports that several passengers were cast members of Quebec reality shows Occupation Double and L’île de l’amour.
Les Québécois font des sacrifices pour freiner la #COVID19. Les événements décrits dans le @JdeMontreal avec des influenceurs sont inacceptables. J’espère que les entreprises clientes arrêteront leurs partenariats avec les influenceurs du 111privateclub. https://t.co/eGVLOgnFzw
— Pierre Fitzgibbon (@MinFitzgibbon) January 4, 2022
In an email shared with Daily Hive, Sunwing Media says the health and safety of its employees and passengers is “our top priority” and added, “the behaviour of a group of passengers was unruly and contravened several Canadian Aviation Regulations as well as public health regulations.”
Sunwing Airlines says it has triggered an investigation by Transport Canada.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Transport Canada says it is “aware of unacceptable behavior and cases of non-compliance with mask wearing and other air safety requirements that occurred on a privately chartered flight from Montréal to Cancun on December 30, 2021.”
“Our Government takes reported incidents such as these very seriously,” says Transport Canada. “We have directed our respective departmental officials to immediately launch an investigation into these allegations of non-compliance with COVID-19 and air safety rules and regulations.”
The federal travel agency says it has been in contact with the airline concerning the flight and if the department determines non-compliance with Transport Canada’s regulations and requirements, each passenger could be fined up to $5,000.