More than 30 Canadians who partied without masks aboard a private flight to Mexico were stranded in the country. The riotous passengers smoked, drank alcohol, and danced aboard the flight on December 30, 2021, with no masks. Video footage of their debauchery has caught public attention and drawn ire from Canadian authorities, Washington Post reports.
The flight took off from Montreal to Cancun on New Year’s eve aboard a chartered flight from Sunwing Airlines, but the airline refused to bring home the passengers due to the onboard partying. Two other commercial airlines also refused to bring the fun-lovers back to Canada, leaving them stranded in Mexico.
One of the passengers, 19-year-old Rebecca St. Pierre, tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolated in a Mexican village called Tulum. She said most of the fun-lovers aboard the flight are also positive for the disease. She revealed she won the trip on Instagram and regretted everything.
Given that more than 240,000 new COVID-19 infections were reported within the last seven days in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is flabbergasted by the passengers’ behavior and called it a “slap in the face…like all Canadians who have seen those videos, I am extremely frustrated,” he said.
The ministry of transportation in Canada said the incident will be investigated and charges possibly filed against the errant passengers. Officials said up to CAD$5,000 (US$3,900) fines may be slammed against the passengers for every violation and that identified individuals will be denied boarding to ensure the safety of people in the country.
The organizer of the trip, James William Awad, said his company 111 Private Club chartered a private flight for the Mexico trip to ensure that everyone is safe in the face of health and safety pandemic protocols. He said this was the first trip to be organized by his new company and that he regretted the fallout of the situation. He added that the passengers were tested for COVID-19 before they left Canada.
Awad said Sunwing Airlines agreed to fly the group back to Canada based on stricter terms, but he could not agree with the airline because they refused to provide in-flight meals to the passengers. The airline would not go into details, but revealed that they canceled the return flight “based on the group’s refusal to accept all terms and our security team’s assessment that non-compliance would be likely based on their previous disruptive onboard behavior.”