They said they're working to get everyone back to Canada.
The organizer of the trip that had a group of Quebecers partying on a Sunwing plane has spoken out about what happened.
James William Awad, who hosted the private event in Cancun and chartered the flight that has caused controversy, released a statement on January 6 to explain their side of the story.
"I understand why many fellow citizens are upset about the current situation," they said in the statement.
Awad noted that they met with a Sunwing security representative on January 4 to discuss Sunwing's conditions for the return flight from Cancun to Montreal that was scheduled for January 5.
Apparently, those conditions were:
- A security manager and three additional in-flight guardians to be on board, at Awad's expense.
- No in-flight meal to be offered.
- No alcohol to be served.
- All carry-on luggage other than small purses, passports and cellphones to be stored in the hold.
- Masks to be properly worn at all times.
- Proof of a valid PCR test for each passenger.
- Passengers to be sober at check-in and boarding.
- Passengers to remain seated and belted unless using the bathroom.
- No standing in the aisle.
- Organizer to be held responsible if the flight had to divert to an alternate location due to non-compliance.
Awad said they agreed to almost all of the conditions but they couldn't come to a final agreement with Sunwing because there would've been no food for the group during the flight, which Awad claims is five hours long.
"They cancelled our flight based on presumptions," Awad said.
Sunwing told Narcity Quebec on January 4 that the return flight from Cancun to Montreal was cancelled because of the results of its "ongoing investigation and the group's refusal to agree to all of the conditions of carriage."
Awad said that they're "working tirelessly" to get everyone on the trip back to Canada safely and quickly.
"I have significantly learned, and I am still learning from this experience," they said.
Before Awad's statement, Justin Trudeau had commented on the situation and said the group seemingly ignoring COVID-19 rules aboard the plane was "a slap in the face."
This article’s right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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