WestJet Group plans to increase its presence in Latin America and the Caribbean and introduce planes with more seats after buying a competitor. 

WestJet, which is owned by private equity firm Onex Corp., completed the acquisition last year of low-cost carrier Sunwing Airlines and Sunwing Vacations, which focuses on travel packages to warm-weather spots. 

WestJet now plans to fly to 39 destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean this year, 10 more than in 2022, the company said in a statement, as it works to integrate Sunwing. It estimates that half of all flights from Canada to “Latin Caribbean” markets this year will be on its aircraft.

Flights from Western Canada have also been a focus for the Calgary-based company, which has added new routes from Manitoba and Saskatchewan to US cities. The airline has pulled back on some Eastern Canada routes, where it faces much greater competition from Air Canada and Porter Airlines — in fact it halted flights between Toronto and Montreal this past winter. 

The airline is also focused on expanding its capacity via new Boeing 737 Max 10 planes. Those aircraft will have 212 seats each, giving the company a “significant seat-cost advantage” and allowing for lower fares, it said. 

The company’s current Boeing 737 Max 8 planes have a seat capacity of 189.