Sunwing Vacations Inc. is sending out dozens of recovery flights this week to bring home thousands of passengers stranded in Mexico after winter storms disrupted its operations. 

"We continue to navigate unprecedented operational challenges, resulting in a number of ongoing flight delays," said airline president Len Corrado in a statement. 

"We deeply apologize for the impact to our customers’ travel plans over the holiday season."

The airline said Thursday that it has 40 recovery flights planned this week with 24 expected to be completed by the end of the day.

Sunwing also announced Thursday that because of "extenuating circumstances" it is suspending operations from its Saskatoon and Regina airports through to Feb. 3, 2023.

The airline said this week's delays, which began to pile up as it issued widespread flight cancellations because of winter storms, have been difficult to sort out because of displaced crews and airplanes.

While other airlines also experienced disruptions and cancelled flights, Sunwing's focus on southern vacation destinations means a greater proportion of its travellers were stuck abroad.

Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra said in a statement Wednesday that he was very concerned with the situation at Sunwing and that airlines need to keep passengers informed. 

"This ongoing situation is unacceptable. Canadians must receive the information they need to return home safely."

Sunwing said it is communicating rescheduled flights as they're confirmed through flight alert notifications and through representatives on the ground. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 29, 2022.