Air Transat revealed details of its summer plans Friday, detailing major cuts to service from Western Canada and a greater concentration on flights from Eastern Canada.
While Vancouver will continue to see flights to Amsterdam, London, and Manchester, previous non-stop flights to Paris disappear in 2020, replaced by connections in Toronto and Montreal. Calgary will lose all its non-stop Transat service to Europe in 2020.
The airline will offer 150 flights a week to 27 cities in Europe, the vast majority operating from Toronto and Montreal. Travellers in Vancouver and Calgary will be able to board Transat domestic flights to connect to European destinations. A similar service that was offered from Edmonton in 2019 disappears in 2020.
Montreal is a big beneficiary of Transat’s renewed focus, with 86 weekly flights to Europe next summer, including 17 a week to Paris. The airline will also offer 50 flights to southern sun destinations.
Separately, Montreal International Airport reported Friday that more than six million passengers passed through the airport over the three peak summer months, an increase of 3.2% over the previous year. Growth in the international sector was particularly impressive, up seven per cent over 2018.
Toronto will see 64 weekly flights to Europe, including 14 to London, and another 30 to sun destinations.
Transat will offer service to four new destinations this summer, to Copenhagen and Faro in Europe and San Diego and New Orleans in the United States. The American destinations will be served from Montreal.
Transat is in the midst of a fleet renewal, introducing Airbus A321neoLR aircraft to the fleet and replacing older Airbus A310 aircraft. The new planes have a smaller capacity, but offer the airline more flexibility to try new routes.
“The arrival of our Airbus A321neoLRs marks the dawn of a new era for us,” said Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer of Transat. “Along with our wide-body fleet, these aircraft help us become more flexible by increasing the options to reach Europe from major Canadian airports. Travellers win big, with more holiday choices and increased frequencies.”
Transat is in the midst of a takeover by Air Canada. If the transaction is approved by regulators, the combined airline would control a majority of trans-Atlantic traffic, far outpacing rival Westjet. Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced a public interest review into the merger, and has until May 2020 to decide whether it should go ahead.