TORONTO — Transat’s commercial teams welcomed travel advisor partners to the Toronto edition of its Training Academy last night, featuring an overview of its 2023-24 program.
South, Europe and U.S. partners were also on hand to meet with attendees. Additional Ontario events took place earlier this week in London and Hamilton.
The Transat team assured agents they’re selling a top-notch brand when booking their clients with Transat. “Our customer experience scores are the envy of many airlines,” said Nicole Bursey, Transat’s Commercial Director.
Additionally, sustainable travel is “at the heart of what Transat does every day,” said Bursey, with the company following three pillars: Planet, People and Sustainable Practices. The airline boasts a green fleet and is pushing the Canadian government for sustainable aviation fuel to catch up with the U.S. To much fanfare, Transat also reminded agents last night that they won’t sell any place that has dolphin exhibits.
Transat is currently running an early booking promotion that ends on June 29. It includes a price drop guarantee of up to $200 per adult and $100 per child. It’s a good deal for the client with something in it for the agent too – and Bursey said agents have been taking advantage of the promotion as they’re finding that it really works. The deal offers a reduced deposit of $100, up to $400 off per couple, 50% off Option Flex Standard and a future travel credit of $50 per adult and $25 per child.
Option Flex extends a 15% commission to agents, while providing the ultimate level of flexibility. There are Option Flex Standard for $89 and Option Flex Extra at $149 for South and Europe packages. Agents were also reminded that they can earn ITC commissions when booking excursions and private transfers, plus be sure to inquire regarding the details of the Travel Agent Group Incentive.
Exclusive to Transat this year, the company now has selling rights for Excellence Resorts. Excellence Resorts have three properties in Mexico, three in the D.R. and Excellence Oyster Bay in Jamaica.
Special travel agent rates have been reintroduced for travel up to April 30, 2024. Agents can benefit from a 20% discount on flights and 15% off packages and tours.
To discover more about flights and Transat’s 2024 program, visit airtransat.com.
INTERVIEW WITH NICOLE BURSEY
Travelweek had the chance to catch up with Bursey for the following Q&A:
Travelweek: In your view, what are 3 key take-aways about Transat’s 2024 program that agents should know?
Bursey: “First, Transat offers a full range of vacation options in the winter months including all the favourites in the south as well as some popular options in Europe. Our south program features our collections that help both agents and travellers when searching for the ideal resort. Our collections include Family, Luxury, Out Of Office, R & R and Solo.
“Second, Air Transat is an award-winning airline with customer service scores that are the envy of our competitors. The quality of service onboard is best in class which has led to consistent recognition including at the Skytrax World Airline Awards. On June 20 the 2023 awards will take place at the Paris Air Show and we hope to do well again this year.
“Third, Transat recognizes and appreciates the partnership we have with the retail community. The commercial team is available to help agents build their business with Transat. Our Business Development Representatives are available for training (virtual and in-person), our inside sales team assist agents with processes and policies, and agents who do group business certainly appreciate the level of expertise our group department has.
Travelweek: What percentage of lift will Transat have in 2024, compared to pre-pandemic levels?
Bursey: “When we look at the regions that we are servicing, our capacity is significantly higher than it was in 2019!
“There is capacity growth in all three regions: Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
“We fly from eight Canadian gateways: Toronto, Hamilton, London, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax and Moncton.
Travelweek: What to you is most exciting about Transat’s 2024 program?
Bursey: “I am really pleased to see the growth in our key markets including the addition of flights from Atlantic Canada in December and January (traditionally our program would start in February).
“Group sales are very strong and the team continues to deliver great service to our agent partners.
“Further development of our digital tools is a priority, and this is exciting since it can really make a difference to the customer experience for both the travel agent and the end user, or traveller.”