Canada’s Transat, one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world, is making its first commercial flights today, the day it is resuming air operations after four months of inactivity. There will be three international flights (Montreal–Toulouse, Montreal–Paris and Toronto–London) and three domestic flights (Montreal–Toronto, Toronto–Montreal and Toronto–Vancouver). Transat’s entire reduced summer schedule of 24 routes to some 20 destinations will be up and running by August 2.
“July 23 is, and will remain, a very special day in the history of Transat. We are gradually resuming our flight operations after a 112-day shutdown,” said Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer, Transat. “There will be excitement in the air during our carrier’s first takeoffs this evening. The entire Transat team, starting with our on-duty flight crews, is very pleased to return to action and to offer our passengers a restyled experience adapted to the situation. The skies are slowly clearing and that is encouraging, but it in no way means that the crisis caused by COVID-19 is over.”
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.
A fleet in transformation
In July, Transat’s carrier took delivery of three new Airbus A321neoLR 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 A321neoLRs 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.