Luggage bags are amassed in the bag claim area at Toronto Pearson International Airport, as a major winter storm disrupts flights in and out of the airport, in Toronto, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. From long hours waiting on hold to sleepless nights on airport floors and desperate scrambles to rebook flights and find missing bags, it was a holiday travel season that no one had on their wish list — but that thousands of people got. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Sunwing CEO apologizes for chaotic Christmas travel as MPs probe transportation woes

The president of Sunwing Airlines says he is sorry the company failed to meet the expectations of Canadians over a chaotic Christmas travel week.

Len Corrado is at the House of Commons transportation committee today which is probing what caused the widespread disruptions in the days before and after Christmas.

Corrado says the airline understands its obligations under the existing air passenger protection regulations and intends to compensate those whose flights were cancelled or delayed as required.

Hundreds of passengers ended up stranded in Mexico over the holidays after Sunwing cancelled their flights citing weather issues.

The airline drew further ire for announcing it was cancelling all flights out of Saskatchewan until early February which Corrado now says is because its application to bring foreign temporary pilots on board for the winter was denied.

Domestic flights on Air Canada and WestJet were also thrown into chaos over Christmas amid significant snow and ice storms in much of the country.

Representatives from both airlines told MPs this morning they did their best to brace for a busy holiday season, but had to grapple with the arrival of a winter storm that hammered airports.