Sunwing set to resume Ottawa flights later this year

Sunwing aircraft

Sunwing Airlines has joined the growing list of carriers to announce they’re resuming service at Ottawa International Airport as the travel industry looks to pull itself out of its pandemic-fuelled slump.

The Toronto-based airline says it will start flying to 11 destinations in Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic in November, with weekly flights running until March or April 2022. Sunwing suspended all flights to resorts in Mexico, Florida, the Caribbean and Central America in January before resuming service from some Canadian destinations last month. The airline also halted its operations between March and September last year.

Porter Airlines announced last month that it would restart its Ottawa service on Sept. 8, while Newfoundland-based PAL Airlines also began serving the capital in July after scuttling plans to launch its Ottawa routes in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Budget carrier Flair said it would start flying out of Ottawa’s airport this fall.

While the number of flights serving the city has picked up in recent weeks, air traffic is still down dramatically compared with pre-COVID levels. 

As a result, the airport – which relies on improvement fees charged to passengers as well as terminal and landing fees, concession revenues and parking fees for most of its revenues – racked up a net loss of $51.2 million in 2020 and expects to incur an even bigger deficit this year.