Evidence of the latest threat to the Canadian retail travel sector is probably right in your own wallet. It’s your Costco membership card.
MONTREAL — The culmination of Transat A.T. Inc.’s 30th anniversary year occurred last night at Montréal-Trudeau airport, where it unveiled its new fleet livery that reflects the recent evolution of the company’s brand image.
As the recognized emblem of Transat, the star symbol is proudly displayed on the tail and rear side of fuselage and also on the wingtips. Touches of grey can be seen as a nod to Air Transat’s very first livery. Finally, the Air Transat name appears on the side and underside of the fuselage, ensuring its visibility even when the aircraft is in flight.
“I feel a great sense of pride when I look at how far we’ve come since November 14, 1987, when our first flight took off from Montreal bound for Acapulco,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and CEO of Transat. “And our journey is far from over. While our tour operating business and our aviation operations are tried and tested, our services continue to evolve to meet the expectations of travellers today and in the future. We have plenty of innovations coming up, including the new fleet livery that we are unveiling this evening, and the new hotel division that we are about to create, all in pursuit of our goal of remaining at the forefront of the travel industry.”
In an exclusive interview with Travelweek’s sister publication Profession Voyages at last night’s event, Eustache said that in the past 30 years there had been some difficult decisions to make. One of the toughest was the temporary dismissal of 25% of the company’s employees in 2001 following the attacks of Sept. 11. Eustache will still have many decisions to make since he is not yet ready to leave Transat, but he is always thinking of the future.
“When I leave, I’ll leave everything. I do not want to play the stepmother. I have always wanted to pass on the business. I delegated all my powers to our new Chief Operating Officer, Annick Guérard, and she is the one who will succeed me as CEO when our hotel division will be well structured,” he said.
Since its inception 30 years ago, Transat has grown to offer customers 60 destinations in two major markets: transatlantic (Europe and the Middle East) and the South, out of 21 Canadian airports. It commercializes its flights to Canada in 13 European countries, as well as in Israel, the U.S. and at its Sun destinations. It boasts 5,000 employees worldwide and carries more than 4.5 million passengers each year.
The story of Transat’s growth over the past 30 years is a remarkable one, said Dominique Anglade, Deputy Premier of Quebec, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Minister Responsible for the Digital Strategy, in her address. “Today, Transat is Canada’s leading integrated tourism company, and Air Transat is the country’s number one leisure carrier.”
Anglade went on to note that Transat attracts some 500,000 European travellers each year to Quebec and the rest of Canada, notably from France and the United Kingdom, two major tourism markets. “Through its operations, this first-class employer generates substantial economic benefits for all of Quebec.”
Since February 2017, the company has drawn a total of 30 surprise trips – three each month – from among travel consultants in Canada to celebrate its anniversary. The Surprise Dates contest is back today for its final edition, with the last three trips of the year to be won.
Every booking of a Transat product made today by midnight by a Canadian travel consultant automatically earns him or her a chance to win one of these three trips, to be drawn at random in three regions: Quebec-Ottawa, Ontario-Atlantic, and Western Canada.
The three winners will each win a package of two, including Air Transat flights in Economy class and a one-week, all-inclusive stay at one of these Meliá Cuba chain resorts: Meliá Peninsula Varadero, Meliá Jardines del Rey in Cayo coco, and Meliá Las Dunas in Cayo Santa Maria.
There is no need to register, contest entry is automatic as soon as a travel consultant sells a Transat flight, package or cruise during the day.
In addition, two other agents per region who’ve booked a Transat product today will be selected at random to earn $30 in Bonbon rewards. The names of the winners will be announced in the coming days.
Transat’s Surprise Dates contest was launched to commemorate milestone dates in the company’s history. Nov. 14, 1987 is regarded as one of the most important – if not the¬ most important – milestones for Transat: on this day 30 years ago, Transat celebrated its inaugural flight to Acapulco, one of the most popular destinations of the day.