Long-Haul A321LR: Air Transat’s New Québec City – Gatwick Route

London Gatwick will welcome a new long-haul route next year in the form of Air Transat from Québec City. While Québec is more French, London is its largest unserved market.

Air Transat A321LR
Air Transat’s Québec City to Gatwick is one of three coming routes for the Canadian airport next year. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr.

What’s happening?

Air Transat has announced its next long-haul route: from Québec City to London Gatwick. Operating once-weekly, it’ll run summer-seasonally from May 22nd until September 28th. When writing, the schedule isn’t available but should materialize in the coming days. The route is “a dream come true,” according to Stéphane Poirier, the Canadian airport’s President and CEO.

In summer 2022, six Canadian airports will be connected non-stop to London, with Québec City joining Calgary, Halifax, Montréal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Air Canada, Air Transat, British Airways, and WestJet will all operate. London to Edmonton, St John’s, and Winnipeg no longer exist, while Ottawa is suspended.

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Gatwick will be Québec City’s second Europe route, joining Paris CDG, also served by Air Transat. CDG will resume on April 10th with an initial weekly service before flights rise to twice-weekly in May and three-weekly in June. The leisure carrier has operated the route for many years, and capacity peaked in 2012 with nearly 65,000 seats.

Air Transat
Seen second left with a host of other high-profile people is Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO of Québec Jean Lesage International Airport. Photo: Air Transat.

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London is the #1 unserved European market

While Paris will always be number one, London is Québec City’s largest unserved European market. Booking data indicates that London had around 12,000 round-trip point-to-point passengers in 2019, with more passengers than to Lyon or any other French airport, based on transit passengers only.

Of course, Québec City to London is highly summer-seasonal, with three times as many passengers in the peak month as the nadir. In 2019, the approximate average one-way base fare to Heathrow – where the vast majority went – was CAD$443 (USD$335 at the 2019 exchange rate), excluding taxes and any fuel surcharge.

Air Transat Quebec City to Gatwick
The new route will begin on May 22nd and run until September 28th. Image: GCMap.

Gatwick will use the A321LR

Air Transat has 10 A321LRs, each with 199 seats, with 187 in economy and 12 in business (not fully lie-flat). It has a further seven aircraft on order. In summer 2021, the carrier only used the A321neo and ceo, and Montreal was its most-served airport. In May 2022, Air Transat will also add Montreal to Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Although summer 2022 is far from finalized, the new route will be far from Air Transat’s longest, even with the A321. The airline will have 24 A321 routes over 3,000 miles, with Québec City to Gatwick – at 3,125 miles (5,029km) – the 24th longest. And it’ll be shorter than Toronto to Gatwick, Glasgow, and Manchester, and Montreal to Gatwick.

What do you make of the coming airport pair? Share your thoughts in the comments.