By Charlotte Seet
Air Transat Returns With First Commercial Flight in Six Months
The ever-changing Covid-19 travel restrictions across various countries have continued to increase uncertainties amongst airlines, and Canadian carrier Air Transat was one of such airlines that were handed a lengthy flightless period.
Now, for the first-time in six months, Air Transat made an announcement on Friday about its return to the skies with three flights scheduled for that wonderful day.
The three flights – Montreal to Punta Cana; Punta-Cana to Montreal; and Montreal to Vancouver – were the head-starts to the airline’s incredibly varied summer program.
Coming back strong, the summer program sees that Air Transat passengers flown to leisure destinations from the U.S all the way to the U.K the South and Europe with a total of 24 routes and 16 destinations.
“It is with great joy and excitement that we return to the skies after these long months of suspension,” says Annick Guérard, President and CEO of Transat, in a press release.
He also goes on by adding that, “We are thrilled to finally reunite with our travellers and allow them to reconnect with their favourite destinations through our world-renowned travel experience.”
Additionally, the airline is also expanding into the Canadian domestic market with an attractive program that offers flights between Calgary, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Vancouver.
Besides allowing Canadian passengers to travel to more international destinations via the offered cities, the domestic program also includes exclusive direct flights between Quebec City and Vancouver, which marks a first for the airline.
Anticipating a busy summer ahead, the airline has plans to bring three more Airbus A321neoLRs into its fleet, bringing the total number of the aircraft type in its fleet to 10, while an additional seven more are scheduled to be delivered by 2023.
Starting off 2021 was looking relatively positive for Air Transat, as news of the proposed merger with fellow Canadian national carrier Air Canada was approved for proceedings and shone light for optimal recovery.
However, even though the merger received an approval from Transport Canada, the tables still managed to turn in April when the merger was called off permanently as the carriers were not going to receive the necessary approval from the European Commission, which was concerned about competition with European carriers.
Making things just as worse then were the re-tightening of travel restrictions in both Canada and the destinations served, as some countries battled new waves of Covid-19 infections. The mandatory quarantines and other related restrictions also kept the passenger numbers at bay as they found the stricter rules to be too much of a hassle.
Eventually, like some other airlines worldwide, Air Transat had to temporarily suspend operations and cancel flights until demand picked up pace again.
The airline had hoped to make an earlier comeback in June, as it would have liked to take advantage of the peak summer season, but government restrictions still had not lifted up by then.