Category Archives: Air Transat

New layoffs at Air Transat

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has made this announcement:

Faced with the major Air Transat layoffs announced for November, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is calling on the federal government to immediately deploy rapid COVID-19 screening at Canadian airports.

The Air Transat component of CUPE has just learned that the number of its flight attendant members will drop to less than 160 in November, from a total of 2,000 employees in normal times. Air Transat’s Vancouver base will be closed completely until further notice.

After the total cessation of activities last April 1, followed by the resumption of flights on July 23, the number of flight attendants reached a modest high of 355 last August.

“All of our information indicates that Air Transat’s resumption of activities in the summer and fall of 2020 was totally safe for passengers and staff. A rapid screening system that provides pre-boarding results would be a crucial addition for reviving the airline industry. We sometimes forget that more than 600,000 jobs in Canada depend on this industry, directly or indirectly. What we need is an efficient federal screening program,” said Julie Roberts, president of CUPE’s Air Transat component.

The union also noted that a broad coalition of aviation employees will demonstrate on Parliament Hill at noon on October 20, demanding concrete measures from the Government of Canada to ensure the safe recovery of the aviation industry.

Air Transat flight attendants are safety professionals whose primary role is to protect passengers. They are divided into three local unions, corresponding to their three bases: CUPE 4041 (Montreal-YUL), CUPE 4047 (Toronto-YYZ) and CUPE 4078 (Vancouver-YVR). The Air Transat component oversees these three local unions.

In total, CUPE represents more than 13,100 members in air transport in Canada, including workers at Air Transat, Air Canada Rouge, Sunwing, CALM Air, Canadian North, WestJet, Cathay Pacific, First Air, and Air Georgian.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union, with 700,000 members across the country. CUPE represents workers in health care, emergency services, education, early learning and child care, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation, airlines and more. We have more than 70 offices across the country, in every province.

Air Transit aircraft photo gallery:

Air Canada and Transat A.T. Inc. conclude amended transaction for combination of the two companies

Air Canada announced today that it has concluded an amended transaction with Transat A.T. Inc. that provides for Air Canada to acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of Transat and for its combination with Air Canada. Under the binding agreement, unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of Transat, Air Canada will acquire all shares of Transat for $5.00 per share, payable at the option of Transat shareholders in cash or shares of Air Canada at a fixed exchange ratio of 0.2862 Air Canada share for each Transat share (representing a price for the Air Canada shares of $17.47). The value of the transaction is approximately $190 million.

The amended transaction reflects the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 upon the global air transport industry, which has endured a severe decline in air travel since the initial Arrangement Agreement between Air Canada and Transat was concluded and approved by Transat shareholders in August 2019. The transaction remains subject to shareholder approval, court approval, the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange, certain customary and other conditions, and regulatory approvals including the ongoing approval process of regulatory authorities in Canada and the European Union. If such approvals are obtained and conditions are met, the transaction is expected to be completed in late January or early February 2021.

“COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the global airline industry, with a material impact on the value of airlines and aviation assets. Nonetheless, Air Canada intends to complete its acquisition of Transat, at a reduced price and on modified terms,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.  “This combination will provide stability for Transat’s operations and its stakeholders and will position Air Canada, and indeed the Canadian aviation industry, to emerge more strongly as we enter the post-COVID-19 world.”

The Transat Board of Directors has unanimously determined that the amended transaction is in the best interests of Transat and its stakeholders, and is recommending that Transat shareholders vote in favour of the transaction. In addition, each of the directors of Transat has entered into a voting support agreement pursuant to which each of them has committed to vote in favour of the transaction. Each of National Bank Financial and BMO Capital Markets has provided the Transat Board of Directors with an opinion to the effect that, as of the date thereof, the consideration to be received by holders of Transat shares with respect to the transaction was fair, from a financial point of view, to such holders, in each case subject to the respective limitations, qualifications, assumptions and other matters set forth in such opinions.

The transaction will be implemented pursuant to a court-approved plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act. The new price of $5.00 per share represents a premium of 31.6% over the 20-day volume weighted average price (VWAP) of Transat shares on October 8, 2020.

All dollar amounts in this news release are in Canadian currency.

Air Transat makes its first commercial flights on July 23

Transat, one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world and Canada’s holiday travel leader, made its first commercial flights of Air Transit on July 23, the day it resumed air operations after four months of inactivity. There will be three international flights (MontrealToulouse, MontrealParis and TorontoLondon) and three domestic flights (MontrealToronto, TorontoMontreal and TorontoVancouver). Transat’s entire reduced summer schedule of 24 routes to some 20 destinations will be up and running by August 2.

To put things in perspective, September 11, 2001, was the most significant and transformative event in the travel and tourism industry in the last two decades. But as astonishing as it may seem today, by September 13, just two days later, Transat announced the gradual resumption of its flights.

Traveller Care for a totally safe trip
One of the key elements of the recovery is of course customers’ confidence in travelling safely. In this regard, Transat’s Traveller Care program offers a complete package of health and safety measures for people on the move. Based on the recommendations of regulatory authorities, the travel experience has been completely revamped: from the travel agency, to the airport, on board the aircraft, and all the way to the destination. The program is accompanied by a comprehensive practical guide that includes, among other information, the requirements of destination countries and airports. These are two online reference tools available to travel consultants and their customers.

A fleet in transformation
In July, Transat’s carrier took delivery of three new Airbus A321neo LR aircraft, which are the core of its fleet transformation. This new-generation aircraft is ideal to support the resumption of flight operations, because of, among other things, its medium capacity, extended range and fuel efficiency. The last two A321neo LRs to join the fleet made their first-ever delivery flights last weekend powered by sustainable fuel (SAF) from the Airbus assembly plant in Hamburg, Germany.

Air Transat aircraft photo gallery:

Air Transat aircraft slide show:

Air Transat makes its first two delivery flights with a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blend, a first for the Airbus plant in Hamburg

Air Transit has made this announcement:

Air Transat is making its first two delivery flights today and tomorrow with its new jets fuelled by a kerosene blend containing 10% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), a first for the Canadian carrier. It is also a first for the Airbus plant in Hamburg, Germany, which produces these aircraft, because until today delivery with SAF was offered only to Airbus customers at its plants in Toulouse, France, and Mobile, Alabama. The first aircraft took off at 2:04 p.m. (local time) from Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport (XFW) and will land at approximately 4:00 p.m. (local time) at Montreal–Trudeau International Airport (YUL). The second will depart the next day, Saturday, July 18.

Both delivery flights are carbon-neutral because the kerosene fossil fuel portion was offset by the purchase of carbon credits. “We are proud to be the first Canadian carrier to operate carbon-neutral flights, and we will continue to pursue our commitment to providing our passengers with a travel experience that takes account of our environmental footprint,” Mr. Lemay continued.

Produced by the Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) process by Neste and supplied by AirBP, the sustainable fuel for both flights is certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) system and meets the sustainability requirements of the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive.

Air Transat and Airbus have a long-standing and productive partnership on environmental matters. Since its inception, Air Transat’s Environment department, with the technical support of the Airbus team, has implemented several projects aimed at improving fuel efficiency and environmental management of its flight operations and facilities, including the fuel management program and ISO14001 certification.

These two aircraft, which are the fifth and sixth Airbus A321neoLRs that Air Transat is adding to its fleet, are part of an agreement with AerCap for the long-term lease of 17 A321neos (16 in LR version). These new-generation aircraft consume 15 percent less fuel than the previous generation of Airbus jets.

Air Transat recently announced another important SAF initiative. The carrier has reached an agreement with the SAF + Consortium of Montreal to purchase a large portion of its SAF production, which will be made from CO2 produced by large industrial emitters. Using a process called Fischer Tropsch (FT), the CO2 will be captured and converted into synthetic aircraft fuel, which is estimated to have an 80% lower carbon footprint than conventional jet fuel.

In other news, Air Transat announced the gradual resumption of operations as of July 23, 2020. The new flight schedule, which extends to October 31, 2020, offers 4 destinations in Canada: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, from many countries, notably Portugal, Unites States, Greece, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, France and United Kingdom.

Air Transat aircraft photo gallery:

Air Transat aircraft slide show:

Air Transat to resume operations on July 23

Transat A.T. Inc. is pleased to announce the resumption of its flights and tour operator activities as of July 23, 2020 . It will offer a new flight schedule to 22 destinations in Europe , the South, the United States and Canada until the end of the summer season on October 31, 2020 . The company will also offer South and Europe packages during this period and will gradually reopen travel agencies in its network starting June 15, 2020 . In addition, Transat unveils its Traveller Care program, rolling out new health measures to ensure the safety of its customers and employees.

Flights for summer 2020

Transat expects to resume its flights and tour operator activities as of July 23 , provided that the travel restrictions applicable on that date allow it.

From Montreal , Air Transat will gradually operate direct flights to Athens ( Greece ), Bordeaux (France), Lisbon ( Portugal ), Lyon (France), Nantes (France), Marseille (France), Paris (France) and Toulouse (France). Travellers from Toronto will benefit from direct flights to Athens ( Greece ), Glasgow ( Scotland ), London ( England ), Manchester ( England ), Porto ( Portugal ) and Rome ( Italy ).

For travellers who wish to fly south, Air Transat will offer direct flights to Cayo Coco ( Cuba ), Cancun ( Mexico ), Fort Lauderdale ( Florida ) and Punta Cana ( Dominican Republic ) from both Montreal and Toronto , in addition to one direct flight a week to Port-au-Prince ( Haiti ) from Montreal .

To open the door to even more destinations via connecting flights and to allow Canadians to explore more of their country, the airline will also offer domestic flights between Montreal , Toronto , Calgary and Vancouver .

Depending on demand and the easing of regulatory restrictions, Air Transat may enhance its flight schedule for the months of September and October. Customers are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the governmental guidelines and entry requirements of their destinations, as they vary from country to country.

Flexibility offered to customers

Fully aware that travel plans can change, Transat is implementing a policy offering more flexibility to travellers whose flights are scheduled to operate this summer. Customers who booked before March 4, 2020 , can change their travel dates, destination or package at no charge up to seven days before departure. If they prefer to cancel their trips instead, they will be able to obtain a travel credit valid for 24 months.

Customers who booked on or after March 4—the date Transat launched its “Book with peace of mind” policy—can make the same changes at no charge up to 24 hours before departure. If they prefer to cancel their trips instead, they will be able to obtain a travel credit valid for 12 months.

Passengers whose fare types allow for modification or cancellation will be able to benefit from those conditions if they wish to change or cancel a flight that is scheduled to operate this summer.

Temporary suspension of certain routes

COVID-19 and its impact on the tourism industry are forcing Transat to extend the suspension of some of its flights, significantly reduce its capacity and completely cancel certain routes for the 2020 summer season.

Until the end of the summer season, the airline is suspending its flights to certain destinations in Europe ( Amsterdam , Basel-Mulhouse, Barcelona , Brussels , Copenhagen , Dublin , Faro, Lamezia, Madrid , Malaga , Nice , Prague , Venice and Zagreb ), the South ( Cayo Largo , Holguin, Montego Bay , Puerto Plata , Puerto Vallarta , Roatan, Santa Clara , Samana and Varadero) and the United States ( New Orleans , Orlando and San Diego ). It is also suspending all its direct flights to Europe and the South from Vancouver and Quebec City . Customers affected by these cancellations will receive a travel credit for the value of the amount received on file, which they can use within 24 months of their original return dates.

Air Transit aircraft photo gallery:

Air Transat retires the last Airbus A310

Type Retired: March 30, 2020 (flight TS765 Porto-Halifax-Toronto Pearson with C-GSAT)

Air Transat operated its last Airbus A310 revenue flight on March 30 (instead of the planned March 31 target date).

The last revenue flight was flight TS765 from Porto to Toronto (Pearson) via a stop at Halifax with the pictured Airbus A310-308 C-GSAT (msn 600).

The airline took delivery of its first Airbus A310 (C-GFAT) on January 16, 2001. The type entered revenue service on January 30, 2001.


Top Copyright Photo: Air Transat Airbus A310-308 C-GSAT (msn 600) CDG (Jacques Guillem). Image: 936469.

Air Transat aircraft slide show:

Air Transat donates more than 44,000 masks and 301,000 gloves to the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services

Air Transat is proud to donate more than 44,000 masks and 301,000 gloves to the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the temporary suspension of its flights on April 1 , Air Transat today handed over all of the medical equipment at its disposal, which had, up until now, been dedicated to protecting its crews. This included:

  • 7,260 N95 masks
  • 36,800 surgical masks
  • 301,000 gloves

“Now that our repatriation operations are over, it seemed only natural to donate our unused protective equipment to those who need it most, namely those in the health services,” says Jean-François Lemay, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Transat. “It’s thanks to everyone’s contributions that we will overcome this terrible crisis.”

Air Transat aircraft photo gallery:

Competition Bureau issues report outlining competition concerns with Air Canada’s proposed acquisition of Transat

The Competition Bureau has issued this report:

The Competition Bureau announced on March 27 it has concluded that Air Canada’s proposed acquisition of Transat (Air Transat) is likely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the sale of air travel or vacation packages to Canadians.

The Bureau’s concerns are outlined in a report delivered to the Minister of Transport by the Commissioner of Competition. The report will inform Transport Canada’s public interest review of the proposed transaction as it relates to national transportation.

Eliminating the rivalry between these airlines would result in increased prices, less choice, decreases in service and a significant reduction in travel by Canadians on a variety of routes where their existing networks overlap.

The Bureau’s analysis determined that the effects of the transaction would apply to 83 routes, including:

  • 49 overlapping routes between Canada and Europe; and
  • 34 overlapping routes between Canada and sun destinations in Florida, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

The transaction also represents a merger of the only two carriers offering nonstop service on 22 of these routes.

Our assessment is based upon a forward-looking analysis using data and information collected prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau recognizes that the impact of these events on the Canadian airline industry appear to be significant in the near term. The ultimate impact of these events may be relevant to the Bureau’s views on the proposed transaction but it is impossible to know the full extent and duration of any impact at this time.

Transport Canada has until May 2, 2020 to complete its public interest assessment and provide it to the Minister. The final decision regarding the proposed transaction will be made by the Governor in Council (Cabinet) based on a recommendation from the Minister.

Quick facts

  • Air Canada and Transat operate two of Canada’s four largest airlines and primary integrated tour operators providing vacation offerings to Canadians.
  • On August 26, 2019, the Minister of Transport started a public interest review of the proposed merger under subsection 53.1(5) of the Canada Transportation Act (CTA). As part of any such public interest review, the Commissioner of Competition is required to provide a report to the Minister on any concerns regarding potential prevention or lessening of competition that may occur as a result of the transaction.
  • Under the CTA, the Commissioner is also to provide an assessment to the Minister of the adequacy of any undertakings that may be proposed by the merging parties to address competition concerns raised in his report.
  • This is the second time the Commissioner provided a report to the Minister as part of a public interest review as it relates to national transportation.

Air Transat announces new special flights to Haiti and Honduras, as well as additional flights to El Salvador and Guatemala

Air Transat, in collaboration with the Government of Canada , announces the deployment of special flights to Haiti and Honduras , as well as more flights to El Salvador and Guatemala in addition to those planned today.

“Ever since the tightening of international borders, our flight operations have been dedicated to repatriating travellers to their countries of origin,” says Jean-Marc Eustache , President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat. “Until the temporary suspension of our operations on April 1 , we will continue to work tirelessly toward this single goal.”

  • There will be a flight from Guatemala City to Montreal on Sunday, March 29 ,aboard an Airbus A330-200.
  • There will be a flight from San Salvador to Montreal on Monday, March 30 ,aboard an Airbus A321-200.
  • There will be a flight from Port-au-Prince to Montreal on Monday, March 30 ,aboard an Airbus A330-200.
  • There will be a flight from Roatan to Montreal on Monday, March 30 , aboard an Airbus A321-200.

Air Transat aircraft photo gallery:

Air Transat will operate special flights to El Salvador and Guatemala in conjunction with the Government of Canada

Air Transat has made this announcement:

ir Transat announces the deployment of two special flights over the next few days to return Canadians stranded in El Salvador and Guatemala back home. These flights, operated in collaboration with the Government of Canada, are in addition to those already planned by the airline.

“To date, our repatriation flights have brought approximately 46,000 customers back home, and this number will continue to rise in the coming days,” says Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat. “From this time forward, all our efforts will be dedicated to achieving a single goal: to safely repatriate as many Canadians as possible.”

  • There will be a flight from San Salvador to Montreal on Friday, March 27, aboard a Boeing 737-800.
  • There will be a flight from Guatemala City to Montreal on Friday, March 27, aboard an Airbus A321-200 (below).

Air Transat aircraft photo gallery: