Air Transat is currently the last operator of the Airbus A310 in the western world. However, this won’t last for long, so there are few remaining opportunities to experience this old plane. The Canadian airline will be phasing out the aircraft as it takes deliveries of the new Airbus A321LR through a deal with the leasing company AerCap. According to an article by the Boarding Area Network, the entire Air Transat A310 fleet will retire sometime next year, as more of their new planes enter service.
Other operators of the A310 passenger variant are airlines in Iran (Mahan Air, Iran Air, and Taban Air) and Yemen (Yemenia). For most of our readers, this means that Air Transat – as a Canadian airline – is the most feasible option with its current fleet of six. The A310 is still used as a military aircraft by armed forces all over the world including Egypt, Mongolia, Spain and Thailand.
During the development of the A300 program, airlines approached Airbus looking for a smaller aircraft. After extensive research and studies Airbus announced the A300B10, later renamed the A310.
The twin-engine, twin-aisle widebody A310 was manufactured in the late 1970s and 80s. Production officially ceased in 2007. The model in use by Air Transat is an A310-300 which seats 250 passengers in a two-class configuration.
About Air Transat
As a leisure operator (similar to that of Thomas Cook), Air Transat flies from major cities in Canada to over 60 destinations. These destinations include major cities in western Europe and vacation destinations in Central America.
The Montreal-based airline flies over five million passengers annually. Air Transat is actually a subsidiary of the larger company Transat A.T. which is also a vacation-package and tour company. Air Transat also has Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 aircraft in it’s fleet.
According to their website, the airline has recently received several awards in the world of passenger travel including:
- World’s Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards
- Best Leisure/Charter Airline at the Agents’ Choice Awards
- Voted Best Airline at the Trophées Uni-Vers awards
As for the A310 passenger experience with Air Transat we can look to online reviews such as one posted last year on TripAdvisor:
We chose partially because Air Transat uses A310’s which have rows at the rear of the plane with only 2 seats at the sides…The seven+ hour flight went smoothly and surprisingly didn’t seem too long. I would definitely book another Air Transat A310 flight going or coming from Europe.
Do you have any special memories of a journey aboard an Airbus A310? And do you have any plans to make a special journey to Canada to fly on the A310 before it completely disappears from service? We would love to hear from you. Let us know by leaving a comment!