Air Transat
Air Transat headquarters in Montreal
IATA ICAO Callsign
TS TSC[1] AIR TRANSAT[1]
FoundedDecember 1986; 37 years ago (1986-12)
Commenced operations14 November 1987; 36 years ago (1987-11-14)
AOC #Canada: 5311[2]
United States: ATFF123F[3]
HubsMontréal–Trudeau
Focus cities
Subsidiaries
  • Air Transat Cargo
Fleet size36[4][5]
Destinations66[6]
Parent companyTransat A.T.
HeadquartersMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Key people
RevenueIncrease CAN$2.9 billion (2019)[7]
Net incomeIncrease (CAN$9.4) million (2019)[7]
Total assetsIncrease CAN$1.5 billion (2015)
Employees5,100 (2020 pre-COVID-19)
1,700 (current)
Websiteairtransat.com

Air Transat is a Canadian airline based in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1986, it operates scheduled and charter flights serving 60 destinations in 25 countries.[8][9][10] Air Transat is owned and operated by Transat A.T. Inc., with 36 aircraft registered with Transport Canada as of September 2023.[4]

History

Early years (1986–1999)

An Air Transat Airbus A310-300 at Manchester Airport in 2001

François Legault founded Air Transat with other business partners such as Jean-Marc Eustache, Philippe Sureau, Lina de Cesare, Yvon Lecavalier, and Pierre Ménard. Legault left the company in 1997 with no forewarning after a dispute with business partners, who only found out after the fact.[11][12]

Air Transat made its inaugural flight on 14 November 1987, travelling from Montreal to Acapulco. Six years later, Air Transat assumed defunct Nationair's maintenance base and aircraft. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transat A.T. Inc.

Expansion (2000–2018)

On 13 February 2009, Transat A.T. announced a five-year partnership with CanJet. Since 1 May 2009, Transat Tours Canada has chartered CanJet's Boeing 737 aircraft flying from Canadian cities to various destinations. This replaced an agreement with Calgary-based Westjet.[13]

On 13 February 2011, Air Transat Flight TS163 operated with the airline's first all-female flight crew from Cancun to Vancouver. The airline has won many awards, including the 2012, 2018, and 2019 Skytrax World's Best Leisure Airline Awards.[14]

On 12 September 2013, Air Transat struck a seasonal lease deal with Air France-KLM leisure carrier Transavia France, covering the lease of up to nine Boeing 737-800s by 2019. The deal, which extends a 2010 winter capacity agreement, called for Transavia France to lease four 737-800s to Air Transat during winter 2014, five in 2016, six in 2017, seven in 2018, and eight in 2019.[15]

Although the first two groups of refugees from Syria arrived in Canada on government aircraft in December 2015, the next two groups were on Air Transat aircraft; the first was Flight TS8500 from Amman, Jordan to Toronto, which departed on 20 December. Air Transat was unlikely to be the exclusive airline chartered by the Canadian government, especially if more than 35,000 refugees would arrive in 2016.[16] A spokesman advised the Toronto Star that the company had been confirmed as the airline that would bring the second group to Canada on 21 December.[17] In an Air Transat press release, Jean-François Lemay, the carrier's general manager made this statement: "We are very pleased to be the first Canadian airline company to engage in this major humanitarian effort, and to be assisting the Canadian government and international authorities in this way."[18]

In March 2016, Air Transat's head office in Saint-Laurent, Montreal was named among the greenest head offices in North America according to Corporate Responsibility magazine.[19]

In May 2017, Air Transat and Flair Air were accused by a CBC News story of misleading customers and regulators in Canada and Mexico by marketing and selling nonstop tickets between Edmonton and Cancun. CBC uncovered a letter in which the airlines admitted that they would frequently divert for a technical stop to refuel.[20]

Recent developments (2019–present)

In January 2020, Forbes Canada named Air Transat in its list of best employers, to eighth place nationally.[21]

Proposed acquisition by Air Canada

On 16 May 2019, Transat AT, the company that owns Air Transat, announced it was in exclusive talks to be purchased by Air Canada. An offer was subsequently made by the latter at C$13 per share and another company, Group Mach, offered C$14.

On 27 June 2019, the board of Transat AT accepted Air Canada's all-cash bid of C$520 million and did not comment on the C$527.6 proposal from Group Mach because the talks with Air Canada were still exclusive. The deal required approval by two-thirds of shareholders; some major investors and some financial analysts stated that the offer is below the true value of the company. Regulatory and governmental approval would be required for the sale of Transat AT. A May report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation stated, "regulatory approvals are no sure thing".[22] If the Air Canada purchase were successful, Air Transat would continue to operate as a separate brand.[23][24][25]

By 12 August 2019, Air Canada had increased its offer by nearly 40% to C$18 per share from $13, valuing the acquisition at $720 million (US$544 million), to obtain backing from Letko Brosseau, Transat AT's largest shareholder with 19% of the company.[26] The same day, the Quebec Administrative Court of Financial Markets rejected the rival bid from Groupe Mach; on 23 August, a 95% majority of Transat's voting shareholders approved the $18 per share Air Canada proposal.[27] The proposed transaction was to be publicly assessed by Transport Canada until 2 May 2020, with the buyout to close after that date.[28]

The buyout was delayed by the then ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on aviation, and the share price of Transat AT fell to $5.16 by July 2020.[29] The buyout had not closed by 13 October 2020, when the two parties agreed to a revised offer of $5 per share, reducing the total value of the acquisition to $180 million.[30]

On 2 April 2021, the deal was dropped following a failure to secure European Commission approval.[31]

COVID-19 pandemic

On 23 July 2020, Air Transat announced that it would resume its service following a COVID-19 pandemic-induced interruption of 112 days.[29] In January 2021, as the pandemic continued, Air Transat announced it was again suspending its regular operations from 29 January to 30 April 2021 and all operations from 14 February to 30 April 2021.[32]

British consumer site MoneySavingExpert named Air Transat as one of the worst-performing travel firms for refunding passengers whose flights or trips were cancelled. The United Kingdom's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), in a report examining the impact of COVID-19 on airline carriers' treatment of passengers to and from the UK during the pandemic, found that Air Transat was one of the airlines failing to provide cash refunds to passengers whose flights had been cancelled by the airline, in breach of the Flight Compensation Regulation.[33] The regulation requires airlines to refund passengers whose flights are cancelled under any circumstances, including the COVID-19 pandemic; the report also noted that CAA's inquiries, while preparing the report, had resulted in Air Transat assuring it that all cash payments would henceforth be handled properly.[33]

Destinations

Air Transat specializes in charter flights from 19 Canadian cities to vacation destinations, mainly to 15 countries in the south during winter and in 11 European countries during summer. Also, some destinations are provided all year round by the airline. During the summer season, its main destinations are Europe and in the winter season, the Caribbean, Mexico, the United States, and Central America, though the airline operates many year-round flights to Europe from their Toronto and Montreal bases. Its main Canadian gateways are Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport.[34] The airline also has operations at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, and Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, among others.

List

As of January 2024, Air Transat flies to the following destinations:[35]

Country / Territory City Airport Notes Refs
Antigua and Barbuda St. John's V. C. Bird International Airport Terminated
Aruba Oranjestad Queen Beatrix International Airport Terminated
Austria Vienna Vienna Airport Terminated
Belgium Brussels Brussels Airport Seasonal
Canada Calgary Calgary International Airport Seasonal
Edmonton Edmonton International Airport Terminated
Fredericton Fredericton International Airport Terminated
Halifax Halifax Stanfield International Airport Seasonal
Hamilton John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport Seasonal
Kelowna Kelowna International Airport Terminated
London, ON London International Airport Seasonal
Moncton Greater Moncton International Airport Seasonal
Montreal Montréal–Mirabel International Airport Terminated
Montréal–Trudeau International Airport Hub
Ottawa Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport Seasonal
Quebec City Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport
Regina Regina International Airport Terminated
Rouyn-Noranda Rouyn-Noranda Airport Terminated
Saguenay Saguenay-Bagotville Airport Terminated
Saskatoon Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport Terminated
St. John's St. John's International Airport Terminated
Thunder Bay Thunder Bay International Airport Terminated
Toronto Toronto Pearson International Airport Hub
Windsor Windsor International Airport Terminated
Winnipeg Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport Terminated
Vancouver Vancouver International Airport Terminated
Victoria Victoria International Airport Terminated
Colombia Cartagena Rafael Núñez International Airport Seasonal
San Andrés Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport Terminated
Costa Rica Liberia Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport
San José Juan Santamaría International Airport Seasonal
Croatia Zagreb Zagreb Airport Seasonal
Cuba Camagüey Ignacio Agramonte International Airport Terminated
Cayo Coco Jardines del Rey Airport
Cayo Largo del Sur Vilo Acuña Airport Terminated
Havana José Martí International Airport Seasonal
Holguín Frank País Airport
Huatulco Bahías de Huatulco International Airport Terminated
Santa Clara Abel Santamaría Airport
Varadero Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport
Czech Republic Prague Václav Havel Airport Prague Terminated
Dominican Republic La Romana La Romana International Airport Seasonal
Puerto Plata Gregorio Luperón International Airport
Punta Cana Punta Cana International Airport
Samaná Samaná El Catey International Airport
El Salvador San Salvador El Salvador International Airport
France Bordeaux Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport Seasonal
Lyon Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport
Marseille Marseille Provence Airport
Nantes Nantes Atlantique Airport Seasonal
Nice Nice Côte d'Azur Airport Seasonal
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Toulouse Toulouse–Blagnac Airport Seasonal
Germany Berlin Berlin Tegel Airport Airport Closed
Düsseldorf Düsseldorf Airport Terminated
Frankfurt Frankfurt Airport Terminated
Hamburg Hamburg Airport Terminated
Munich Munich Airport Terminated
Greece Athens Athens International Airport Seasonal
Guadeloupe Pointe-à-Pitre Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport Seasonal
Haiti Port-au-Prince Toussaint Louverture International Airport
Honduras Roatán Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport Terminated
Hungary Budapest Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport Terminated
Ireland Dublin Dublin Airport Seasonal
Shannon Shannon Airport Terminated
Israel Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport Terminated
Italy Lamezia Terme Lamezia Terme International Airport Seasonal
Pescara Abruzzo Airport Terminated
Rome Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport Seasonal
Venice Venice Marco Polo Airport Seasonal
Jamaica Montego Bay Sangster International Airport
Mexico Acapulco General Juan N. Álvarez International Airport Seasonal
Cancún Cancún International Airport
Cozumel Cozumel International Airport Seasonal
Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport Terminated
Los Cabos Los Cabos International Airport Terminated
Manzanillo Playa de Oro International Airport Terminated
Puerto Vallarta Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport
Martinique Fort-de-France Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport Seasonal
Netherlands Amsterdam Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Seasonal
Nicaragua Managua Augusto C. Sandino International Airport Terminated
Panama Panama City Tocumen International Airport Terminated
Río Hato Scarlett Martínez International Airport Seasonal
Poland Warsaw Warsaw Chopin Airport Terminated
Portugal Faro Gago Coutinho Airport
Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport
Ponta Delgada João Paulo II Airport Terminated
Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport
Puerto Rico San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport Seasonal [36]
Saint Lucia Vieux Fort Hewanorra International Airport Terminated
Sint Maarten Philipsburg Princess Juliana International Airport Seasonal
Spain Barcelona Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport Seasonal
Madrid Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport Seasonal
Málaga Málaga Airport
Valencia Valencia Airport Terminated
Switzerland
France
Germany
Basel
Mulhouse
Freiburg
EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg Seasonal
Turkey Istanbul Atatürk Airport Airport Closed
United Kingdom Aberdeen Aberdeen Airport Terminated
Belfast Belfast International Airport Terminated
Birmingham Birmingham Airport Terminated
Cardiff Cardiff Airport Terminated
Edinburgh Edinburgh Airport Terminated
Exeter Exeter Airport Terminated
Glasgow Glasgow Airport
Leeds Leeds Bradford Airport Terminated
London Gatwick Airport
Heathrow Airport Terminated
London Stansted Airport Terminated
Manchester Manchester Airport
Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle International Airport Terminated
United States Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport
Fort Myers Southwest Florida International Airport Terminated [37]
Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport Terminated
Los Angeles Los Angeles International Airport Seasonal [38]
Miami Miami International Airport Seasonal [37]
New Orleans Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Terminated [39][40]
Orlando Orlando International Airport
San Francisco San Francisco International Airport Seasonal [38]
Tampa Tampa International Airport Terminated
Venezuela Porlamar Santiago Mariño Caribbean International Airport Terminated

Codeshare agreements

Magazine

Atmosphere is the semi-annual inflight magazine of Air Transat.[43] It was founded in 2006 and the first issue was published in March 2006.[44] The magazine is published in English and in French.[44] The publisher is Business Class Media.[44] Formerly it was published on a quarterly basis, but then was published semi-annually.[45]

Fleet

An Air Transat Airbus A330-300 in 2019, showing the current livery
A 2013 image of an Air Transat Airbus A310-300, showing a previous livery
An Air Transat Lockheed L-1011 in the 1995 livery

Current fleet

As of October 2023, Air Transat operates an all-Airbus fleet consisting of the following aircraft:[4][5]

Air Transat fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes and refs
C Y Total
Airbus A321-200 8 2 196 198 Club Class only available on domestic flights.[46][47]
198 198
Airbus A321LR 15 4 12 187 199 Deliveries since 2019.[48][49][50][51]
Airbus A321XLR 3 TBA Deliveries to begin in 2025. Option for one additional aircraft.[52]
Airbus A330-200 11 12 333 345 [53]
320 332
Airbus A330-300 2 12 334 346 [54]
365 375
Total 36 7[citation needed]

Previously operated

Air Transat has operated several other aircraft types in the past, including:[55]

Air Transat historical fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Notes
Airbus A310-300 14 2000 2020
Airbus A320-200 2 2003 2004 Leased from Star Airlines
4 2018 2019 Leased from Condor
Boeing 727-200 2 1991 1994
Boeing 737-400 2 1999 2000 Leased from Virgin Express
Boeing 737-700 4 2017 2019 Leased from ASL Airlines France
Boeing 737-800 29 2014 2020
Boeing 757-200 9 1992 2004
Lockheed L-1011-1 TriStar 16 1989 2004
Lockheed L-1011-500 TriStar 6 1997 2004

Accidents and incidents

References

  1. ^ a b "ICAO Designators for Canadian Aircraft Operating Agencies, Aeronautical Authorities and Services" (PDF). Nav Canada. 4 May 2023. p. 1. Retrieved 24 February 2023. Air Transat: TSC, AIR TRANSAT
  2. ^ Transport Canada (30 August 2019), Civil Aviation Services (CAS) AOC. wwwapps.tc.gc.ca.
  3. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". av-info.faa.gov. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Air Transat". Transport Canada. Retrieved 11 October 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Our fleet". Air Transat.
  6. ^ "Air Transat on ch-aviation". ch-aviation. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  7. ^ a b "Transat A.T. Inc. - Results for fourth quarter 2019".
  8. ^ Vowles, Timothy M.; Lück, Michael (2016). "Low Cost Carriers in the USA and Canada". In Gross, Sven; Lück, Michael (eds.). The Low Cost Carrier Worldwide. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9781317025054.
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  10. ^ "About Air Transat".
  11. ^ "Quebec election: François Legault is a pragmatist at heart". 22 September 2018.
  12. ^ "The Quebec Election: A Primer  – Policy Magazine". policymagazine.ca. 15 August 2018.
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  14. ^ "Air Transat Named World's Best Leisure Airline in 2012". Air Transat. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Transavia France inks 737-800 deal with Air Transat". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  16. ^ The Associated Press (21 December 2015). "Canada aims to double intake of Syrian refugees to 50,000: McCallum". Globe and Mail. Toronto, Ontario. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  17. ^ Westoll, Nick (20 December 2015). "Canada may double refugee intake by end of 2016: McCallum". Toronto Star. Toronto, Ontario. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  18. ^ "Flight TS8500 has now left Amman for Toronto". Transat. Transat A.T. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  19. ^ "Air Transat head office named one of the greenest in NA". Air Transat. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2023.
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  23. ^ "Air Canada to buy Transat in deal valued at $520M". CTV News. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019. Letko, Brosseau and Associates and PenderFund Capital Management, which jointly own a 22.06 per cent stake, have said they would vote against the agreement if the purchase price remained at $13 per share.
  24. ^ "Transat agrees to Air Canada's $13-a-share takeover offer, despite other bids". CBC News. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019. Shareholders will have to weigh in and regulatory agencies will have a say, as the move would consolidate Canada's airline industry in even fewer hands.
  25. ^ Lampert, Allison (27 June 2019). "Transat accepts Air Canada's $520 million buyout offer". Financial Post. Retrieved 28 June 2019. The deal, which would keep Transat's head office and key functions in Montreal, is expected to be completed early next year, subject to regulatory approval.
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  28. ^ Taylor, Ellis (27 August 2019). "Air Canada Transat takeover unlikely to close in early 2020". Flightglobal.
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  42. ^ https://simpleflying.com/air-transat-westjet-transatlantic-codeshare/
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  59. ^ Lupton, Andrew; Nazareth, Errol (19 July 2016). "2 Air Transat pilots charged with being impaired before Glasgow to Toronto flight". Retrieved 5 October 2019.
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