COVID has impacted Canada’s Air Transat in many ways, just like any other carrier. Unique to Air Transat, though, is that its entire network for the rest of this summer – including across the Atlantic – will now only be by the A321. This is an understandable change from 2019 when widebodies – the A330-200, A330-300, and the A310-300 – had half of all flights.
Just 19% of 2019 flights
Between August 3rd and October 30th, the end of the northern hemisphere summer season, Air Transat has 1,102 round-trip flights scheduled, according to schedule information submitted to OAG. That is just 19% of what it had in the same period in 2019. The carrier is clearly demonstrating it is looking ahead to winter 2021 and into 2022.
Montreal is Air Transat’s most-served airport
With six in ten flights, Montreal is the leisure carrier’s most-served airport, just like it was in 2019. However, while the Québec airport’s network then had 19 routes to Europe – as far away as Athens – it is now two. There were 13 routes to Mexico and the Caribbean, but this has been reduced to five. Of course, both developments are largely due to border restrictions.
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Curiously, Air Transat’s US network from Montreal remains unchanged, at least in terms of the destinations served. Orlando and Fort Lauderdale will resume in September, with the US not open to Canadian tourists until at least August 21st.
Montreal-Paris is the #1 route
Air Transat has 24 routes in the remaining summer (2019: 89), of which 18 are international. The 3,442-mile service from Montreal to Paris CDG is the carrier’s densest route, followed by the long, 2,295-mile transcontinental link from Montreal to Vancouver.
- Montreal-Paris CDG
- Toronto-Fort Lauderdale
- Montreal-Fort Lauderdale
- Montreal-Punta Cana
Air Transat is presently operating Montreal-CDG five-weekly by 199-seat A321neos, complete with 12 business seats. The Canadian carrier is one of three airlines on the airport-pair, joining Air Canada (11-weekly) and Air France (17-weekly).
Where’s up and where’s down?
With four of the top-10 routes domestic, it is no surprise that the domestic market is crucial to Air Transat. Indeed, it has 38% of the total flights in the analyzed time period, nearly double the proportion it did in 2019. While the domestic market itself has been decimated, it is, as you would expect, less badly affected than Europe.
Air Transat’s Europe operation – which was its largest market in 2019 – has seen flights reduce by 93%, a reduction of over 3,000. One major airport-pair, Toronto to London Gatwick, has (temporarily) fallen out of the top-10; it will resume in mid-September on a three-weekly basis.
|Air Transat's flights: Aug. 3rd-Oct. 30th||2019||2021||% change (rounded)|
|Mexico and Central America||351||80||-77%|
|Total estimated flights||5,814||1,102|
The USA is up
But it is not fully across-the-board declines: the USA is actually up by 71%. While the country is never a big market for Air Transat during the summer (that changes in wintertime!), this growth is driven by two developments: meaningful rises on existing routes and summer flights from Québec City to Fort Lauderdale.
While this is a very long-served route, it is normally operated only in winter. It’ll now be once-weekly from September 11th, arriving back into Canada at the fun hour of 03:20.
What are your thoughts on, or experiences with, Air Transat? Let us know in the comments.