Air Transat

Airbus A310 Transport Canada WestJet
Air Transat
Air Transat logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedDecember 1986
Commenced operationsNovember 14, 1987
AOC #Canada: 5311[2]
United States: ATFF123F[3]
Focus cities
Fleet size43[4]
Parent companyTransat A.T.
HeadquartersMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Key people
RevenueIncrease CAN$2.9 billion (2019)[6]
Net incomeIncrease (CAN$9.4) million (2019)[7]
Total assetsIncrease CAN$1.5 billion (2015)
Employees5,000 (2016)

Air Transat is a Canadian airline based in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1986, it is the country's third-largest airline, operating scheduled and charter flights, serving 60 destinations in 25 countries.[8][9][10] Air Transat is owned and operated by Transat A.T. Inc., having a fleet of 43 aircraft.[4]


Early years

Air Transat's headquarters, located in Montreal
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 November 14, 1987, travelling from Montreal to Acapulco. Six years later, Air Transat assumed defunct Nationair's maintenance base and aircraft. Today, the company books over 3.5 million passengers a year. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transat A.T. Inc.

Air Transat is now one of Canada's largest airlines, after Air Canada and WestJet. Air Transat has 5,000 employees.[13] On February 13, 2011, Air Transat Flight TS163 operated with their 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 February 13, 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.[15]

Developments since 2010

On September 13, 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, calls 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.[16]

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. While it was unlikely that Air Transat would be the exclusive airline chartered by the Canadian government, especially if more than 35,000 refugees would arrive in 2016[17] 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.[18] In a Transat press release, Jean-François Lemay, the carrier's general manager made the following 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."[19]

In May 2017, Air Transat and Flair Air were accused by a CBC News story of misleading customers and regulators in both 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]

In January 2020, Forbes Canada named Air Transat in its list of Best Employers, to 8th place nationally.[21]

On July 23, 2020, Air Transat announced that it would resume its service following an interruption of 112 days due to COVID-19 pandemic.[22]

Selling the airline to 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, proposed purchase at 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 sale of Transat AT. A May report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation stated that "regulatory approvals are no sure thing".[23] If the Air Canada purchase is concluded, Air Transat would continue to operate as separate brand.[24][25][26]

By mid August, Air Canada increased its offer by nearly 40% to C$18 per share from C$13, valuing the acquisition at C$720 million ($544 million in American Dollars), to obtain backing from Letko Brosseau, Transat AT's largest shareholder with 19% of the company.[27] On 23 August, a 95% majority of Transat's voting shareholders approved the Air Canada proposal at C$18 ($13.53) per share, after the Quebec Administrative Court of Financial Markets rejected the rival bid from Groupe Mach on 12 August.[28] The proposed transaction should be publicly assessed by Transport Canada until 2 May 2020, before the buyout closes.[29]


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.[30] The airline also has operations at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport among others.


An Air Transat Airbus A330-300 in the current livery.
An Air Transat Airbus A310-300 in the old livery.
An Air Transat Lockheed L-1011 in the 1995 livery.

Current fleet

As of September 2020, Air Transat has the following aircraft registered with Transport Canada:[4][31]

Air Transat fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A310-300 3 12 238 250[32] No listed at the Air Transat website. To be replaced by Airbus A321LR.[33]
Final flight took place on March 31, 2020 but are still registered with Transport Canada[34][35]
Airbus A321-200 9 190 190[36][37]
Airbus A321LR 6 9 12 187 199[33][38] Deliveries since 2019.[39][40] Listed at Air Transat as Airbus A321neoLR[41]
Airbus A321neo  - 7 TBA Deliveries from 2020.[40]
Airbus A330-200 16 12 333 345[42]
12 320 332
Airbus A330-300 4 12 334 346[43]
12 363 375
Boeing 737-800 5 189 189[44]
Total 40 11

Previously operated

Air Transat has operated several other aircraft types in the past including the following:[45]

Accidents and incidents


  1. ^ "FAA JO 7340.2H - Contractions". Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  2. ^ Transport Canada (2019-08-30), Civil Aviation Services (CAS) AOC.
  3. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  4. ^ a b c "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Air Transat". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2020-09-06.
  5. ^ "Air Transat | Destinations from Canada". Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  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.
  9. ^ "Contact Us." Air Transat. Retrieved on May 20, 2009. "Postal address: Air Transat 5959 Côte-Vertu Blvd. Montreal, Quebec H4S 2E6 Canada"
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Quebec election: François Legault is a pragmatist at heart". 22 September 2018.
  12. ^ "The Quebec Election: A Primer  – Policy Magazine".
  13. ^ "Backgrounders". Retrieved 2011-03-10.
  14. ^ "Air Transat Named World's Best Leisure Airline in 2012". Air Transat. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Transat A.T. Inc. - Transat and CanJet forge 5-year partnership for narrow-body aircraft". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  16. ^ "Transavia France inks 737-800 deal with Air Transat". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Westoll, Nick (20 December 2015). "Canada may double refugee intake by end of 2016: McCallum". Toronto Star. Toronto, Ontario. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  19. ^ "Flight TS8500 has now left Amman for Toronto". Transat. Transat A.T. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  20. ^ "The 'Mexican game': How Air Transat misled passengers and aviation officials". CBC News. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Air Canada in exclusive talks to buy Air Transat". CBC News. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019. The exclusivity agreement also states that if Transat walks away from the deal for a better offer, it would pay Air Canada a $15-million break fee. In the event the agreement is terminated because regulatory or governmental approvals are not obtained, Air Canada would pay Transat a $40-million break fee.
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ "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.
  26. ^ "Transat accepts Air Canada's $520-million buyout offer". Financial Post. 27 June 2019. 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.
  27. ^ David Kaminski-Morrow (12 Aug 2019). "Air Canada substantially hikes price for Air Transat". Flightglobal.
  28. ^ Tom Risen (23 Aug 2019). "Transat shareholders approve Air Canada buyout". Flightglobal.
  29. ^ Ellis Taylor (27 Aug 2019). "Air Canada Transat takeover unlikely to close in early 2020". Flightglobal.
  30. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 67.
  31. ^ Our fleet
  32. ^ Airbus A310-300
  33. ^ a b "Canada's Air Transat to debut A321neo(LR) ops in 2Q19". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  34. ^ Air Transat Reschedules Last Airbus A310 Service
  35. ^ Liu, Jim (March 23, 2020). "Air Transat moves last A310 scheduled service to late-March 2020". Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  36. ^ Airbus A321-200
  37. ^ "Canada's Air Transat adds six A321s, ends B737-700 ops". Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  38. ^ Airbus A321neoLR
  39. ^ "Air Transat to take A321LRs to replace A310s". 11 July 2017.
  40. ^ a b "Air Transat signs agreement to lease seven new Airbus A321neos". 27 June 2018.
  41. ^ Airbus A321neoLR
  42. ^ "Airbus A330-200". Air Transat. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  43. ^ Airbus A330-300
  44. ^ Boeing 737-800
  45. ^ Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: History Search Result
  46. ^
  47. ^ A330 'glider' drama facts revealed. Flight International, 26 Oct 2004. Retrieved 5 Jan 2007.
  48. ^ Weakest points. Flight International, 19 July 2005. Retrieved 5 January 2007.
  49. ^ Lupton, Andrew; Nazareth, Errol (2016-07-19). "2 Air Transat pilots charged with being impaired before Glasgow to Toronto flight". Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  50. ^ "Air Transat pilots jailed in Scotland on drinking charges - The Star".
  51. ^ "'You can't do this to us': Fuming passengers stuck on planes in Ottawa call 911". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  52. ^ "After Air Transat saga, passenger bill of rights aims to punish airlines into being good". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-08-02.