Twenty-seven of the 130 passengers who were stranded in Mexico due to their behavior on their flight from Canada have returned home to face an investigation.
The individuals were arrested by Canadian border guards after videos showing they were partying on their Sunwing charter flight from Montreal to Cancun, which sparked outrage in their home countries.
Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said returning tourists were questioned at the border, tested for COVID-19 and had their documents, including PCR test results, verified by authorities , reported the Ottawa Sun.
CBC added that the police and the Quebec prosecutor’s office were informed of their contact details.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously described their behavior as a “slap in the face” and said “like all Canadians who have seen these videos” he was “frustrated”.
Videos from the on-board party show the maskless passengers crowded together, singing and dancing in their seats and in the aisle, while some held liquor bottles, took photos on the phone and vaped.
Canadian rules currently require all air passengers over the age of six to wear masks on flights.
On Wednesday, after the video footage was released, Mr. Duclos, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Transport Minister Omar Alghabra released a joint statement, stating: “We are aware of unacceptable behavior and cases of non-compliance. compliance with mask wear and other aviation safety requirements. that occurred on a private charter flight from Montreal to Cancun on December 30, 2021.
“Our government takes reported incidents like these very seriously. We have called on our respective departmental officials to immediately launch an investigation into these allegations of non-compliance with COVID-19 and aviation safety rules and regulations.
“Transport Canada has been in contact with the airline regarding this flight. If the department determines that there has been non-compliance with Transport Canada regulations and requirements, fines of up to $ 5,000 per violation could be imposed on passengers.
The Sun said many passengers had become outcasts in Canada and found themselves stranded after Sunwing canceled their return flight and two other airlines – Air Transat and Air Canada – also refused to take them home.
At least one of the passengers subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 after the flight to Cancun, one of Mexico’s best-known resorts.
The flight was reportedly organized by a group called 111 Private Club, which would describe itself as an “exclusive private group by invitation only”.
The only thing that went wrong on this trip was the cancellation of our “return” flight. Relax. Anyone can always come back, we’re just trying to find a way for everyone to come back without having to pay their ticket. 90% of people did not pay for this event! I paid for it.
– James William Awad (@ 111jameswilliam) January 8, 2022
Organizer James William Awad told La Presse that the party started soon after the group boarded, but the passengers then calmed down and returned to their seats for take-off, before it resumed when the ‘plane was at altitude.
He said the group was made up of a group of “influencers” and reality TV stars, as well as several of his business partners.
Earlier, he posted on Twitter: “Only 15-20 people were partying on that plane. While everyone was seated. That’s barely 8% of the people who attended this event. The ratio is excellent. A1. We are working to gradually reduce this “bad” ratio. “
Sunwing chairman Colin Hunter told La Presse that since it was a charter flight that had been fully booked by the group’s organizers, it was a private matter, but which has become public.
He told the newspaper that an investigation was underway.