The federal government is giving the thumbs up to WestJet Airlines' takeover of Sunwing Airlines and Sunwing Vacations.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says the decision "was not taken lightly" given the travel chaos that erupted over the winter holidays and left Sunwing passengers stranded abroad for days.
Announced last March, the takeover will see Calgary-based WestJet bolster its vacation package offerings as it adds the tour operator to its fleet, though they've said the two brands will be marketed separately.
Last fall the Competition Bureau warned that the purchase by Canada's second-biggest airline would likely result in higher prices and decreased services, particularly around package deals.
The transport minister has attached conditions to the acquisition that include extending Sunwing packages to five new cities, maintaining capacity on affected routes and keeping both a vacations business head office in Toronto and a regional one in Montreal for at least five years.
Financial terms of the takeover have not been disclosed.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2023.
Companies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:TRZ)
The Canadian Press