WestJet to buy Sunwing amid turbulent global travel market

WestJet Airlines Ltd. announced a deal to buy Sunwing Airlines Inc., as competition in the Canadian travel market heats up.

Financial terms of the deal, which will see Sunwing’s current shareholders become equity holders in the WestJet Group, were not disclosed.

WestJet chief executive Alexis von Hoensbroech says the deal brings together two highly complementary businesses.

Under the agreement, a new tour operating business unit will be created under the WestJet Group, to include both Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations Inc. and will be led by Sunwing CEO Stephen Hunter.

Both airlines are privately held. Toronto-based Sunwing is controlled by the Hunter family — Germany’s TUI Group owns the other 49 per cent of the airline — and Calgary-based WestJest was purchased by Onex Corp. in 2019.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close late this year.

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