Montreal-based Air Transat has taken delivery of its first brand-new Airbus A321LR as the airline transitions to an all-Airbus fleet.
It’s the first of 15 such aircraft expected to join the fleet in the next three years. They will replace ageing A310 aircraft and increase the size of the fleet.
Transat executives told investors last week they chose the A321LR because of its capacity and range. It can fly far enough to reach a number of European destinations in the summer, but is small enough to serve sun destinations that may have a more limited demand in the winter.
The new A321LR is configured for 199 passengers, including 12 Club Class seats. It has a range up to 7,400 km.
“We are proud to deliver the A321LR to Air Transat and to be associated with such a fine, innovative airline,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “The A321LR, with its increased range and low operating costs, enables Air Transat to increase flight frequencies, expand its network and strengthen its competitive position. Airbus will provide Air Transat with world-class support and work to ensure its ongoing success.”
Early indications suggest Transat will deploy the new planes on several routes from Toronto and Montreal to sun destinations this winter. Plans also show Vancouver-Fort Lauderdale, Florida could be on the horizon, as well as Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic from the West Coast.
Transat disclosed last week it was in the early stages of talks “with more than one” potential buyer.
Transat is one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world, meaning it owns both resorts and the planes to get people there. The airline flies to 60 destinations in Europe, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It also owns several resort destinations in the tropics.