While domestic airline traffic in the U.S. is on its way to full recovery and some analysts expect the number…
Air Transat Reinstates Its Flight Operations with Winter Schedule
Even though it may seem like travel demand will not return to its higher pre-pandemic levels for a long time, several major airlines around the world are continuing to add flights back to their current and future schedules. Air Transat, Canada’s largest leisure carrier, has officially released its plans to reinstate more flights for the winter season. The new schedule will consist of over 40 destinations from its main hub in Montreal, QC, and two of its focus cities, Toronto and Quebec City, QC.
“Even though the entire tourism industry has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the desire to go abroad for a change of scenery and for new discoveries is still very much alive in travelers,” says Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer of Transat. “That is why we are delighted to present them with our enhanced offer.”
Guérard added, “Now, more than ever, this program of more than 40 destinations allows us to redesign our future one step at a time and to renew our mission, which is to brighten every day of our passengers.”
In the reinforced schedule, Air Transat plans to concentrate on operating more international flights from its main hub and two of its focus cities to Florida, Mexico, Cuba and the Caribbean while complementing the enhanced schedule in North America with more direct flights to the United Kingdom, France, Portugal and Spain, in an attempt to attract holiday travelers.
Air Transat Challenges Domestic Competition
In addition to the expansion of flight routes as the carrier gradually resumes flights, Air Transat is expecting to have two new Airbus A321neo LRs operating for the winter season, with the introduction of three more by early next year, bringing the total in the fleet to nine. The new, modern aircraft will allow Air Transat to attract passengers and efficiently operate its long-haul routes to Europe and directly compete with its two largest competitors, Air Canada and Westjet.
Meanwhile, back in Canada, Air Transat has canceled flights from cities in western Canada such as Victoria, BC, Vancouver, BC, Calgary, AB, Edmonton, AB and Winnipeg, MB to international destinations due to effects of the pandemic. However, the airline has pushed forward and worked on positioning itself to directly compete with Air Canada and Westjet, by operating domestic flights between Montreal, Toronto and its third focus city, Vancouver, BC, allowing passengers to seamlessly connect on to its flights to Europe and Caribbean.
Westjet, Canada’s second-largest carrier, announced its future schedule expansion in early July for the fall and the end of the year, with its plans to grow and operate more, direct flights to Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean, where Air Transat’s reinforced domestic and international flight schedule will be put to the test to see how one of Canada’s largest airlines, who caters heavily towards leisure travelers, will withstand the competition on the routes to similar regions.
In the meantime, with the competition from its rivals, Air Canada and Westjet, Air Transat’s decision to reinstate and expand its flight operations, not to mention, adding more A321neo LRs to its existing fleet of Boeing 737s, Airbus A330s and A321s, will allow the airline to better position itself to adapt to the uncertainty, unprecedented yet transformative aspects from the current aviation industry’s circumstances.
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