Air Transat is set to launch a triangular route serving Toronto, Porto, and Lisbon in the final two months of this year. Canada’s third-largest airline will eventually serve each destination separately, using its new Airbus A321neo LR aircraft. But what are the exact logistics of this new service?
A short-term triangular connection
As reported by Routesonline, Air Transat is planning to consolidate its services to Portugal during November and December this year. Between November 1st and December 7th, “Canada’s number one leisure airline” will operate Toronto Pearson International (YYZ) – Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro (OPO) – Lisbon Humberto Delgado (LIS) – Toronto as a once-weekly triangular routing. Lisbon and Porto are Portugal’s two busiest airports respectively.
The service represents part of the 40 destinations that the airline, which retired the last of its Airbus A310 aircraft earlier this year, plans to serve in its winter schedule. The full schedule details are planned to be as follows:
- TS732 – Sundays only. Toronto 20:00 – Porto 07:55 (+1), Porto 09:40 (+1) – Lisbon 10:45 (+1).
- TS733 – Mondays only. Porto 09:40 – Lisbon 10:45, Lisbon 12:15 – Toronto 15:50.
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Narrowbody service on the route
Air Transat is planning to utilize its new Airbus A321LR aircraft on the route. This represents another example of a growing trend in transatlantic flights, namely the use of narrowbody aircraft. This is partially a response to the lower levels of passenger demand caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Another factor is the development of more fuel-efficient narrowbody aircraft, such as the Airbus A321LR. The increased range of these aircraft facilitates mid to long-haul flights such as transatlantic operations serving the US and Canada’s eastern seaboard. Toulouse-based STELIA Aerospace recently tapped into this market by launching a flatbed seat specifically designed for narrowbody aircraft.
Air Transat operates a two-class seating configuration aboard its A321LR. This consists of 12 recliner seats in club class, laid out in a 2-2 configuration with a pitch of 38 inches and a width of 22 inches. Entertainment in these seats is provided by 13-inch seatback TV screens.
The remainder of the cabin comprises 187 economy class seats in a standard 3-3 configuration. These seats have a pitch of 31 inches and a width of 18 inches, with entertainment provided by 10-inch seatback TV screens.
Routesonline reports further that, as of December 8th, Air Transat will serve Porto and Lisbon separately. Each of Portugal’s two largest cities will be connected to Toronto by two direct flights a week, with these services also making use of the Airbus A321LR again. This will make for strong competition, particularly on the route from Lisbon, as Air Canada and TAP Air Portugal also serve this corridor.
The fact that Air Transat is looking ahead represents more hopeful news concerning its future than in previous weeks. Last month, for example, Simple Flying reported that the carrier might have to cut up to 2,000 jobs if it did not receive financial support.
The airline is currently in the process of being acquired by flag carrier Air Canada, which should hopefully help to secure its long-term future. In the short-term, it remains to be seen how well the new triangular Portuguese route will perform commercially, but one can only hope that it will be a success.
What are your experiences flying on Air Transat? Have you ever flown on another triangular route? Let us know in the comments.
The schedule information in this article was originally published by Routesonline.