The Canadian travel industry is fuelled year after year by huge volumes of ITC package sales to sun and sand destinations. So does that mean we’re immune to 2019’s travel trends? Not at all.
TORONTO — A gleaming white and blue A330-200, part of Transat’s strategic move to an all-Airbus fleet, was a fitting backdrop for last night’s 30th anniversary celebrations marking Transat’s first flight from Toronto to London, a buzzy event that drew hundreds of industry execs, colleagues and friends to the Air Transat hangar at Toronto Pearson Airport.
Transat rewarded agents all throughout last year with Surprise Dates, prize giveaways and special incentives, to commemorate three decades since Transat took flight with sun routes, the first to Acapulco in 1987.
Last night the celebratory mood continued – and so did the prizes – as Transat gave away three trips to the Transat destination of the winner’s choosing, to mark 30 years since Transat took wing across the Atlantic with service from Toronto to London.
Over the years Transat grew to become Canada’s first integrated international tourism company and its lineup now includes 60 destinations in two major markets – transatlantic (Europe and the Middle East) and the South – out of 21 airports across Canada. It also commercializes flights to Canada in 13 European countries as well as in Israel, the U.S. and its sun destination countries.
Addressing the crowd at last night’s event, Transat President and CEO Jean-Marc Eustache sent out a special thank you to industry veteran Errol Francis, who took a chance on Transat back in those early days. After retiring from the travel industry Francis, in attendance last night, got into the real estate game, noted Eustache. “He tells me he’s happy, he’s not working too hard and he’s making lots of money,” Eustache joked. Francis’ support was pivotal in getting Transat off the ground, said Eustache, adding: “I want to thank him.”
Transat had two Lockheed aircraft back in those days, and a vision that has endured, said Eustache: “We have always tried to offer traveller affordable products that encourage them to travel the world.”
He added: “I am exceedingly proud when I look back at how far we’ve come since that first flight out of Toronto, and how much the company has grown in Ontario and the rest of Canada. Over the years, our organization has adjusted to a changing and ever more competitive business environment. It has evolved and rapidly responded to emerging consumer needs when it comes to products, destinations, services, and of course price.
“We work in a vibrant industry full of stimulating challenges, which is seeing steady growth. And there is no shortage of travellers. We are moving forward enthusiastically and optimistically.”
Eustache said that Transat “is above all a leisure travel company” and is working actively to achieve its growth strategy. By combining Transat’s new hotels initiative with its existing leisure-travel business, “we will remain on the leading edge of travel industry innovation. We aim to stay at the forefront of the travel industry.”
Eustache also lauded Transat’s Chief Operating Officer, Annick Guérard, an integral part of Transat’s succession plan as Eustache eyes retirement: “Annick will be terrific, ten times better than me.”
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, among the dignitaries at last night’s event, said Transat is renowned for its excellent customer service and top-notch fleet. “Transat’s future is very bright.”
Among the company’s distinctions and awards (2017–2018), Transat was named the world’s second-best leisure airline and best in North America at the Skytrax World Airline Awards.
After three decades Transat remains steadfast in its mission, said Eustache: “to brighten the days of travellers with the joys of vacations.”