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Sunwing Airlines will start its non-stop flight service from Buffalo Niagara International Airport to Mexico and the Dominican Republic beginning in January and February next year.

The Toronto-based company will offer one flight per week to each destination.

Direct, non-stop flights departing from Buffalo to Cancun International Airport in Mexico will begin Jan. 17 and run through May 9 next year.

Service from Buffalo to Punta Cana International Airport in the Dominican Republic will begin Feb. 14 next year, also running through May 9.

Sunwing Vacations operates resorts in both destinations.

Service will be offered seasonally during the peak winter and spring months, though flights could be added and the season could be extended, depending on the airline’s success here.

Sunwing dubs itself a “high frills, low cost” airline. It will use 737 through 800 series aircraft, seating 189 passengers apiece. Passengers will be offered a complimentary glass of champagne, hot meal service, in-flight entertainment as well as activity kits for children.

It’s the first time international air service has been offered from Buffalo Niagara International Airport since the early 2000s, when Canadian airliner Transat Holidays stopped making weekly flights to the Dominican Republic.

Sunwing’s entry into Buffalo allows it to “provide travelers in Southern Ontario with another convenient gateway,” according to Andrew Dawson, Chief Operating Officer of Sunwing Travel Group.

Nearly two million Canadians traveled through the Buffalo airport last year, seeking less expensive flights than those offered at airports across the border. That popularity is expected to continue.

Sunwing offers low-fare flights from more than three dozen Canadian cities to destinations in Florida, Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and eastern Europe.

It also offers service out of the United States from Cincinnati, Nashville, Tenn., and Atlanta.

email: schristmann@buffnews.com