Ottawa: The federal government has allowed the takeover of Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines by WestJet Airlines. On Friday, Federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra gave his nod to this acquisition. 

Transport Canada said the decision was taken after assessment of the public interest that included the findings of the Commissioner of Competition, and consultations with Canadians, consumer protection groups, unions and industry. 

In a statement, the federal government said the decision was not taken lightly, especially considering the delays and bottlenecks experienced by travellers last summer, as well as the customer service and communications challenges by Sunwing during the recent holiday season. 

While approving this takeover, the government has imposed some conditions that include extending Sunwing vacation package offerings to five new Canadian cities, maintaining capacity on routes most affected by the merger, increasing regional connectivity, improving baggage handling for better passenger experience, maintaining a vacations business head office in the Toronto area and a regional office in the Montreal area for a minimum of five years and increasing net employment by 20 per cent over three years in the Toronto office. 

The government said it is also working on reforms to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations to ensure passenger rights are even more protected. 

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