Transat eyes July 30 restart, discontinues hotels division

Transat says it will protect agent commissions on COVID refunds in wake of CEEFC funding announcement

MONTREAL — Transat’s funding agreement with the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation (CEEFC) is good news for the industry and, even better for travel agents, Transat says it will not be recalling commissions with the refunds.

Earlier this morning Transat announced it had signed a funding agreement with the CEEFC that now allows it to offer refunds to travellers who were issued a travel credit due to COVID-19 for a trip scheduled to start on or after February 1, 2020.

This policy applies to flights and packages booked by April 29, 2021.

Going forward, should Transat make changes to its flight program, affected customers would also be eligible for a refund.

Transat will protect agent commission with the refunds, says Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer of Transat.

“Travel agents have shown unwavering resilience and support since the crisis began,” says Guérard. “That’s why we’re pleased to confirm that commissions earned by agents will not be recalled if their customers opt for a refund.”

Among the parameters set by government authorities, clients who have a travel credit must submit their refund request to Transat by August 26, 2021. Clients must complete the request form available at airtransat.com/refunds as soon as possible.

Transat is asking travellers who originally booked with a travel agent or online travel agency to contact the agent or agency directly.

“We’ve been impatiently waiting for this moment, and we know our customers have been, too,” says Guérard. “Now that a funding agreement has been reached and the eligibility criteria have been established by the Government of Canada, we are delighted to be able to provide our customers with this long-awaited aid.”

Agents and consumers can visit airtransat.com/refunds to consult the frequently asked questions or learn about the refund eligibility criteria.

TRANSAT’S FUNDING AGREEMENT

Transat first announced this morning that it has reached an agreement with the federal government to borrow up to $700 million in additional liquidity through the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF).

Transat is the latest to reach a deal with the government, following Air Canada’s financial assistance package with the government announced April 12. In February Sunwing also announced a LEEFF loan, for $375 million.

“The agreement reached with the Government of Canada provides us with an additional $700 million in liquidity, which is the amount we needed to move forward with confidence. Our strong balance sheet prior to the pandemic and the aggressive actions we have taken since have enabled us to weather this unprecedented crisis so far. With this support, we now look forward to resuming operations as soon as safe travel is possible and travel restrictions can be lifted. We will then be able to implement our plan to make Transat a solid and profitable company once again, one that will continue to symbolize leisure travel for its many customers in Quebec and elsewhere,” said Transat President and CEO, Jean-Marc Eustache.

“The funds obtained will also enable us to reimburse our customers whose travel had to be cancelled due to the pandemic under conditions that are sustainable for the company, which we welcome.”

The agreement includes $310 million consisting of an unsecured credit facility to provide reimbursement to travelers who were scheduled to depart on or after Feb.1, 2020, for whom a travel credit was issued as a result of COVID–19.

The deal also means  Transat has issued a total of 13,000,000 warrants for the purchase of an equivalent number of shares of Transat, at $4.50 per share. These warrants could eventually be paid in cash or shares.

Updated at 2:16 p.m. on April 29, 2021