Influences who partied maskless on flight trapped in Mexico

Influencers and reality TV stars filmed drinking and dancing on a raucous packed flight from Montreal were stranded in Mexico last night, facing heavy fines and public castigation by Justin Trudeau.

Videos of the maskless passengers swigging vodka, singing and dancing in the aisle of a plane set social media alight with fury as Canada reported a 36 per cent increase in coronavirus cases fuelled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

The passengers – several of whom are reality TV stars or social media influencers, according to Canadian media – were criticised for turning the plane into their own "personal nightclub" after footage showed the holidaymakers sharing a large bottle of Grey Goose vodka, dancing and maskless and vaping.

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, said the images were a "slap in the face" to Canadians facing a surge in Omicron cases and warned the matter was being taken "extremely seriously" by the country’s airline regulator, which could issue fines of up to $5,000 Canadian (£3,000) to passengers who violated its travel regulations.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the videos were a 'slap in the face'

Credit: Blair Gable/Reuters

Additional fines and even jail time could follow if passengers on the Sunwing Airlines flight were found to be endangering others, according to Canadian media.

One of the passengers, Rebecca St-Pierre, 19, said she had since tested positive for Covid-19 and is isolating in Tulum, south of Cancun. She estimated about 30 other travellers on the flight have also tested positive.

She told the Canadian Press that she won the trip on Instagram and expected a “relaxing week” but was now unsure how to pay for her hotel room with the unexpected extension to her trip.

The flight on December 30 from Montreal to the Mexican resort town of Cancun was chartered by the 111 Private Club, according to Canadian broadcaster CBC.

James William Awad, who operates the company, said he "committed to hosting a private and safe event in Cancun" but added "I understand why many fellow citizens are upset about the current situation".

Mr Awad said Sunwing had "cancelled our [return] flight based on presumptions, and thus other companies followed their steps".

He added that his 111 private club is working tirelessly to return all the passengers to Canada as quickly as possible.

Addressing the situation on Friday, Mr Trudeau said:"It’s a slap in the face to see people putting themselves, their fellow citizens and airline workers at risk by being completely irresponsible".

The airline regulator Transport Canada said it was investigating the incident.

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