Air Transat Will Only Operate The Airbus A321 This Summer

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.

Air Transat A321LR
Air Transat has 24 routes across the rest of the summer, all by the A321. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr.

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.

Air Transat A321LR
Despite or even because of COVID, Air Transat inaugurated its first-ever service from Quebec City to Vancouver on August 2nd. No other airline has operated it for at least 17 years (as far back as the data we have goes). The market had over 40,000 transit passengers in 2019. Photo: Air Transat.

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.

Air Transat A321LR
Air Transat resumed Montreal to Punta Cana on July 30th, the first flight on this route since January. C-GOIF operated it, an A321LR delivered in June 2019. Photo: Air Transat.

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.

  1. Montreal-Paris CDG
  2. Montreal-Vancouver
  3. Toronto-Vancouver
  4. Montreal-Calgary
  5. Toronto-Fort Lauderdale
  6. Montreal-Fort Lauderdale
  7. Calgary-Toronto
  8. Montreal-Cancun
  9. Montreal-Orlando
  10. 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).

Air Transat's network
This is Air Transat’s network for the rest of the summer, with quite a few routes restarting in September. Image: GCMap.

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. 30th20192021% change (rounded)
Domestic Canada1,178423-64%
USA13222671%
Europe3,390239-93%
Mexico and Central America35180-77%
Caribbean763134-82%
Total estimated flights5,8141,102

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.

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