Air Transat

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Air Transat
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded December 1986
Commenced operations November 14, 1987
Operating bases
Fleet size 30[1]
Destinations 63[2]
Company slogan Vacation is calling
Parent company Transat A.T. Inc.
Headquarters Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Key people
Revenue Decrease CAN$3.6 billion (2015)
Net income Increase CAN$42.6 million (2015)
Total assets Increase CAN$1.5 billion (2015)
Employees 2,500 (2016)
Air Transat headquarters in Montreal

Air Transat is a Canadian leisure airline based in Montreal, Quebec,[3] operating scheduled and charter flights, serving 63 destinations in 30 countries.[2] The airline is owned and operated by Transat A.T. Inc.


Early years[edit]

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.

2009: CanJet partnership[edit]

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.[4]

Air Transat is one of Canada's largest airlines, after Air Canada and WestJet. Air Transat has 2,100 (2010) employees.[5] 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 Skytrax World's Best Leisure Airline Award.[6]

2013: Transavia France partnership[edit]

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.[7]

2015/2016: Transporting Syrian refugees to Canada[edit]

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[8] 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.[9] 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."[10]


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 around by the airline. During the summer season its main destinations are Europe and in the winter season the Caribbean, Mexico, 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, Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport.[11] The airline also has operations at Calgary International Airport, Edmonton International Airport, Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport and others.


Current fleet[edit]

Air Transat Airbus A310-300
An Air Transat Airbus A330-200

As of July 2016, the Air Transat fleet consists of the following aircraft:[1][12]

Air Transat Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A310-300 9 12 238 250
Airbus A330-200 10 12 333 345 1 leased to Travel Service Polska
1 leased to Air Caraïbes
Airbus A330-300 4 12 334 346
12 363 375
Boeing 737-700 3 148 148 leased from ASL Airlines France
Boeing 737-800 17 189 189 3 leased from Smartwings
1 leased from Travel Service
5 leased from Transavia France
Total 43

Previously operated[edit]

Boeing 727-233-Adv, Air Transat
Air Transat Lockheed L-1011 in 1995

Air Transat has operated several aircraft including the following:[13]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On August 24, 2001, Air Transat Flight 236, an Airbus A330-200, en route from Toronto to Lisbon with 306 crew and passengers, made an emergency landing in the Azores without engine power due to fuel starvation over the Atlantic Ocean. The aircraft safely landed at Lajes Air Base, on the island of Terceira. The aircraft was evacuated in 90 seconds. All 306 passengers on board survived. An investigation revealed that the cause of the accident was a fuel leak in the number two engine which was caused by an incorrect part installed in the hydraulics system by Air Transat maintenance staff. The part did not maintain adequate clearance between the hydraulic lines and the fuel line, allowing vibration in the hydraulic lines to degrade the fuel line and cause the leak. The aircraft involved in the incident was repaired and remains in service with Air Transat. The incident went down in history as the longest non-powered flight and landing by a commercial airliner.[14]

On March 6, 2005, Air Transat Flight 961, an Airbus A310-300, en route from Varadero to Quebec City with 9 crew and 261 passengers on board, experienced a structural failure in which the rudder detached in flight. The crew returned to Cuba, where they made a safe landing. It has been established that no unusual rudder inputs had been used by the crew during the flight, they were not manipulating the rudder when it failed and there was no obvious fault in the rudder or yaw-damper system. The investigation that followed determined that the manufacturer's inspection procedure for the composite rudder was not adequate. Inspection procedures for composite structures on airliners were changed because of this incident.[15]

On July 18, 2016, Air Transat Flight 725, an Airbus A310-300, en route from Glasgow to Toronto with 250 passengers was grounded overnight following the arrest of pilots Captain Jean-Francois Perreault and Imran Zafar Syed for allegedly preparing to fly under the influence of alcohol. The flight eventually flew under new crew and arrived in Toronto at noon the following day. Both pilots were charged with threatening or abusive behaviour and performing an aviation function while over the legal alcohol limit. Perreault and Syed made no pleas or declarations during their initial hearing on July 19, 2016.[16] Both pilots were suspended from active duty by Air Transat on July 22, 2016. [17]


  1. ^ a b "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Air Transat". Transport Canada. Retrieved 2016-01-16. 
  2. ^ a b "Air Transat | Destinations from Canada". Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  3. ^ "Contact Us." Air Transat. Retrieved on May 20, 2009. "Postal address: Air Transat 5959 Côte-Vertu Blvd. Montreal, Quebec H4S 2E6 Canada"
  4. ^ "Transat A.T. Inc. - Transat and CanJet forge 5-year partnership for narrow-body aircraft". Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Backgrounders". Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  6. ^ "Air Transat Named World’s Best Leisure Airline in 2012". Air Transat. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "Transavia France inks 737-800 deal with Air Transat". Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Westoll, Nick (20 December 2015). "Canada may double refugee intake by end of 2016: McCallum". Toronto Star. Toronto, Ontario. Retrieved 21 December 2015. 
  10. ^ "Flight TS8500 has now left Amman for Toronto". Transat. Transat A.T. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 67. 
  12. ^ Our aircraft
  13. ^ Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: History Search Result
  14. ^ A330 'glider' drama facts revealed. Flight International, 26 Oct 2004. Retrieved 5 Jan 2007.
  15. ^ Weakest points. Flight International, 19 July 2005. Retrieved 5 January 2007.
  16. ^
  17. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Air Transat at Wikimedia Commons