The now-infamous Sunwing party plane passengers have been issued nearly $60,000 in total fines.
On Thursday, Transport Canada announced an update on the saga, revealing that a total of 42 penalties to 37 of the flight’s 154 passengers have reached a grand total of $59,500.
Canada’s transport agency says 18 penalties were issued for “non-compliance of vaccination status” while 24 penalties were for passengers who “did not respect instructions to wear a mask.” Individual fines could reach a maximum of $5,000 each.
“The safety and security of travellers and transportation workers are paramount to Transport Canada,” said the agency, referring to the investigation of the Montreal to Cancun flight on December 30 that sparked a media frenzy.
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“Aviation rules are not to be taken lightly,” said Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra. “With this investigation, we want to send a clear message: the behaviour of some passengers on the Montréal-Cancun flight of December 30 was unacceptable, and it is not tolerated.”
Alghabra says Transport Canada will “continue to ensure that all aviation rules are followed at all times.”
Transport Canada has been conducting an investigation into the flight — which was full of Quebec reality TV stars and influencers — to determine “whether the Aeronautics Act, regulations or requirements pertaining to aviation safety and security were contravened” during the flight. If non-compliance is identified, Transport Canada ensures that “all appropriate enforcement actions are taken.”
Aviation rules are not to be taken lightly. As part of its investigation into the December 30 Montréal-Cancun flight, 42 penalties were issued to 37 offenders. These penalties, of up to $5,000 each, total $59,500. https://t.co/6BfpVaVYKB pic.twitter.com/b3a8UNV9C1
— Transport Canada (@Transport_gc) April 28, 2022
On December 30, videos of a party on a privately chartered flight full of Quebec social media influencers and actors went viral. The airline that hosted the flight, Sunwing, declined the partygoers’ return flight out of Cancun a few days later, citing a breach in their contract. Passengers were also recorded breaking several airline codes, including dancing in aisles, not wearing masks, drinking alcohol, and smoking e-cigarettes.
At the time, Alghabra said certain behaviours on the flight were “unacceptable,” justifying why Transport Canada “took immediate action.”
After the videos circulated, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the in-flight party was a “slap in the face” to Canadians to see people “putting themselves, putting their fellow citizens, putting airline workers at risk by being completely irresponsible.”