The REAL Sunwing livery on a Boeing 737-800 in Toronto.

The REAL Sunwing livery on a Boeing 737-800 in Toronto.

Will the real Sunwing Airlines livery please stand up?

While in Toronto, I quickly caught glimpse of a livery I was not a fan of. I wasn’t able to catch the name, but after a little research I found it to be Sunwing Airlines. It took a bit longer to actually find what their “real” livery was, since there were quite a few hodge-podge mixture of different liveries. Some examples: VikingTUIflyHapag-LloydThompsonflyBoeing GreenEuro Atlantic, did I miss any? It became obvious that this airline likes to lease planes.  I actually had to go to their website to make sure what their “real” livery was and it turns out, it is the one I saw in Toronto.

With leasing out so many planes, of course they need to keep their livery simple, but this one just doesn’t work for me. I think what really bothers me is having the words on the fuselage and then on the tail where they are hard to read. I really like their sun logo and think it would have looked nice on the tail. Also, for some reason the engines being blue bothers my eye — they probably would have look better orange. I mean this is by no means a horrible livery, but a few simple changes could really make it shine.

Although fun for airline spotters, it does make it kind of hard for your customers to know your brand when there are so many different looks, but I guess that is the down side to leasing aircraft from airlines.

Sunwing was founded in 2005 and operates a fleet of about 20 aircraft (all Boeing 737-800s). According to their website they are, “Canada’s leading high frills, low cost airline.” They call their high frills the Champagne Service, which actually gives a lot of complimentary things not seen on most airlines today (like champagne, food, headsets and more). They operated scheduled and charter service to the US, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South America and of course Canada.

Have any of you flown them and can describe how the Champagne Service was? Seems like if you can get past the mediocre livery, the flight experience is not too shabby and really that is what matters most right?

Image: Reinhard Zinabold


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
Airport Love: Passengers Get Christmas Surprise in Quebec
Matt Rogers

You should get a life…

Good call. Blogging on airlines and travelling around the world is pretty lame.

Your IP address shows Canada. Do you work for the airline Matt?


IF you look close the Boeing Green is the same plane as the Real Livery but I think you know that 🙂

I’ve flown with Sunwing once in 2008 (YYZ-YVR), never got my Champagne, but it was still a great experience flying with them! I don’t know why you don’t like their livery..(oh wait, you expained it in your article) but I love it! I think this livery would only be second to Oasis Hong Kong’s.

Seems like you didn’t spend much time in Toronto, I would’ve loved to meet you!

Wow, you like the livery that much? I like Oasis too and there are quite a few great shots of four of their 747’s together, which is always cool.

Reading closer, looks like the champagne only comes out on flights leaving Canada.

I have a way of not being able to stay to long at many destinations, but I did stay two nights, which is not bad!


Hey David
I flew Sunwing in 2009 and my flight left Edmonton for Peurto Valarta at 6 am and once the plane was airborne the flight attendants came around with a glass of champagne served on a silver tray. A short while later they also served a hot breakfast meal as well. On the way back to Edmonton a week later it was an evening flight and they didn’t serve champagne but they did serve a hot meal and glass of red or white wine complementary.
The service was better than I expected as the flight was booked as part of an all-inclusive travel package. Including, Flight, Accommodation, Meals, and Beverages for $1000.00 including taxes. The service on the Sunwing flight was quite a bit better than on Air Transat as well as the quality of the food.
I would defiantly fly with them again.
Cheers Brett

Mark Smith


Sunwing lease quite a few 737-800s in from Europe for the Winter season. It’s the quietest time for European airlines so it makes sense for the aircraft to be leased out to Canada where Sunwing needs the extra capacity during the winter. As an aside TUI has a large shareholding in Sunwing and owns Thomson Airways (8 aircraft currently on lease to Sunwing) and TUIfly so they are just moving spare capacity around the group airlines.



Hey Mark,

Thanks for the information, that does make quite a bit of sense.


The founder of Sunwing is an accomplished jazz musician.

James Burke

I took them once from YYZ-YUL. It was super cheap, so no champagne. They only flew the route twice per week in the summer, mostly to get the plane to YUL for the YUL-YVR flight. I thought they had a nice product, and would be happy to spend a few hours on their planes again – especially if it is taking me south!!!

Hey James,

I guess the champagne only comes out on flights that leave Canada. For inter-Canada, no bubbly!


Hi David,

Sunwing’s c/scheme stems from an agreement they had with Viking Airlines (a Swedish Airline based in the UK who ceased trading in Oct-10). Viking leased their aircraft to Sunwing in the winter to give additional capacity for Canada/Caribbean flights, while the reverse happened in the summer for the European holiday market. They decided it would be easier to have the same c/scheme so they only needed to change the names on the aircraft each fall/spring.

Unfortunately, since Viking went bust, Sunwing are having to lease in winter capacity from a lot of European airlines (Thomson in the UK and TUI Germany and Belgium), hence all the different c/schemes.

Theres a photo of a Viking B737-800 on my Flickr web page at

Hey Ken,

Thanks for the additional information!



They are a “leisure charter airline”; so there is no need to put them down about their “hodge-podge mixture of different liveries”. Yes, they lease aircrafts…big deal!They are giveing decent service to, to leisure travellers at a low cost to (mainly) the Caribbean…why “nit pick”?..take them for what they are and appreciate them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *