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Sunwing adds direct flights south from Thunder Bay airport

Service offered to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic between December and March
Starting this December, Sunwing is introducing new weekly direct flights to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, from the Thunder Bay International Airport. (TBNewsWatch photo)

Sunwing will start offering direct flights from the Thunder Bay International Airport to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, starting in December.

On July 31, the airline announced the new service would operate between Dec. 19, 2018 and March 27, 2019.

This marks the third sun destination on Sunwing’s Thunder Bay route. The airline already offers weekly winter flights out of Thunder Bay to Varadero, Cuba, and Cancun, Mexico, between November and March, and December and April. This marks the ninth season Sunwing has operated out of the Thunder Bay Airport.

“Thunder Bay Airport welcomes Sunwing’s latest expansion in our market,” said Ed Schmidtke, president and CEO of Thunder Bay International Airports Authority Inc., in the news release.

“Sunwing has a long, positive history in Thunder Bay. With three destinations and a schedule that spans four months, Sunwing offers Thunder Bay tremendous winter getaway options.”

Sunwing offers travellers an array of all-inclusive vacation packages, which include their flight, accommodation and meals.

Andrew Dawson, Sunwing’s president of tour operations, said the new destination is all about offering customers choice, without the need to travel to Toronto.

“Our seasonal flight services from Thunder Bay have always been well received and we are very pleased to be able to expand our operations even further this year,” Dawson said.

“Punta Cana is consistently one of our most popular vacation hotspots and we are sure that it will become a perennial favourite with our customers in Thunder Bay for many years to come.”

Extensive renovations were undertaken at the Thunder Bay International Airport earlier this summer, including an expansion of the departures lounge, the customs clearance hall, and the arrivals area.

FORM Architecture Engineering of Thunder Bay, in conjunction with BBB Architects of Ottawa, is the designer on the project. Tom Jones Corp. is serving as general contractor.

The terminal handled more than 844,627 passengers in 2017, up 4.6 per cent from the previous year, making it one of Ontario’s busiest airports behind Toronto’s two airports – Pearson International and Billy Bishop – and Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier.