Ottawa airport terminates Sunwing and Flair baggage handler contract

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Ottawa Airport terminates Sunwing and Flair baggage handler contract

Ottawa airport terminates Sunwing and Flair baggage handler contract in April, due to “deterioration in service levels associated with ground handling activities for Sunwing and Flair airlines” in recent weeks .

The Ottawa International Airport Authority (AAIO) announces on Wednesday that it has delivered a notice of termination of operating license to the company Menzies Aviation.

The company, headquartered in Scotland, specializes in ground services, aircraft ground handling and baggage handling. Sunwing Airlines and Flair Airlines are currently contracting out his services in Ottawa.

But due to a deterioration in service levels associated with services for Sunwing and Flair airlines, in recent weeks the Ottawa International Airport Authority has decided to cease operations. A decision that will take effect in April.

Following written warnings to Menzies, the problems reached unsustainable levels over the past week, leading the AAIO to issue Menzies with 30 days' notice to terminate his license. #x27;operating at the Airport on Monday, March 13, reads a press release published on Wednesday.

The Ottawa airport decided to crack down on Menzies. (File photo)

The Ottawa International Airport Authority had no representatives available Wednesday to explain the announcement in an interview , despite Radio-Canada's request. The AAIO specifies, however, in writing, that it will be up to the airlines to find a new subcontractor for their ground services.

The deal we are interested in is their operating license which they are eligible for due to their contract with the airline. We don't handle baggage – we provide the system that airlines and ground handlers use to move baggage through the terminal.

On March 14, Luc-André Vincent and her two children, 7-year-old Anaïs and 13-year-old Sasha have returned from a week-long stay in Holguin, Cuba aboard Sunwing Airlines.

But upon arrival at the Ottawa airport, they were forced to wait over two hours for their luggage. A long wait during which the airline did not provide them with any communication, laments Mr. Vincent.

“[Eventually] someone from Sunwing showed up at the airline counter and just explained that they [Sunwing] had two or three flights that had arrived and they didn't have the ability or the manpower to to manage the arrival of these three flights. So, we had to wait for an indefinite period and without further information,” says Mr. Vincent.

Luc-André Vincent and his family had to wait several hours at the Ottawa airport before getting their luggage.

It was after four hours that Mr. Vincent and his family were able to collect their luggage.

When Mr. Vincent learned that the Ottawa airport had decided to cancel the contract that binds him to the baggage handler of Sunwing and Flair, he said he was relieved by this decision.

I have never seen such a thing happen in all the years I have travelled. I have never seen such a mess. […] The only people who responded in the first two hours were the customs officers who said that it had been frequent for at least a month at Sunwing, but it was not clear who was responsible, continues Mr. vincent.

Indeed, many problems have been reported in recent months, especially during the holiday season, with Sunwing and Flair Airlines services in Ottawa and elsewhere across the country. But the two companies are not alone in this situation. Last December, Air Canada also experienced baggage management issues at the federal capital airport.

Flair Airlines provides that this decision will have no impact on its operations. (File photo)

In a written response, Flair Airlines says the decision to terminate Menzies' operating license was made by Ottawa International Airport.

This will have no impact on Flair's operations. We are working with our airport partners like Ottawa and will continue to offer low cost flights from Ottawa, the airline adds.

At the time of publishing this article , Sunwing had not yet responded to Radio-Canada's interview request. Ditto Menzies Aviation.

Still, the AAIO considers that the baggage handler used by the two discount airlines does not meet its level of requirement.

The levels of service that the traveling public of the two airlines has had to endure does not meet the customer experience threshold that the AAIO is committed to facilitating. We will continue to work with airlines to ensure their traveling public enjoys a smooth and efficient journey to and from Ottawa International Airport.

On its website, Menzies indicates that it entered the Canadian market in 2005. The company is present in 16 airports across the country, including Pearson International Airport in Toronto and the Vancouver International Airport. Recently, it obtained an operating license at Montreal International Airport.

With information from Patrick Foucault

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