Most of the disruptive passengers of an infamous Sunwing flight from Canada to Mexico late last year have now been hit with fines for violating vaccination and mask mandates aboard the flight, Canada’s transportation minister says.
Transport Canada launched an investigation in late 2021 into the flight connecting Montreal to Cancun, which saw influencers and reality TV stars vape, sing and dance on-board the private plane as the Omicron COVID-19 variant circulated in Canada.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in a statement Thursday that the “majority of non-compliant passengers” have now received penalties.
Some 37 passengers on the 154-person flight have now received a total of 42 fines. There are 18 penalties related to vaccine status and another 24 penalties for not respecting masking requirements.
The total value of the penalties is $59,500, with each individual fine rising to a maximum of $5,000.
Transport Canada is still investigating whether the federal Aeronautics Act related to aviation safety and security was violated over the course of the flight. There could be additional sanctions issued if that probe finds non-compliance with the act.
Some passengers have expressed regret about their actions on the flight, which circulated widely on social media and prompted outrage at home.
One organizer of the trip has meanwhile threatened legal action against Sunwing for leaving the passengers “abandoned” following the flight, though it is unclear if he followed through on the action.
— with files from Global News’s Rachel Gilmore