As a result of the World Health Organization’s decision to raise the level of the swine flu alert to Phase 4, and following directives issued by governments because of the appearance of swine flu in several countries, Transat A.T. Inc. is postponing its flights from Canada to Mexico until June 1 inclusive, and from France to Mexico until May 31 inclusive. This decision applies to flights operated by Air Transat or other carriers. Transat is maintaining its return flights as planned until May 3, and will be adding other flights according to an as-yet-unspecified schedule in order to bring home its customers, passengers and employees now in Mexico.
All customers of Transat and its business units Air Transat, Transat Holidays and Nolitours (in Canada) or Vacances Transat and Look Voyages (in France) who were scheduled to fly to Mexico between now and June 1 can change their travel plans, with no additional service charges, in accordance with the following guidelines:
1. Travel on a later date: passengers who wish to travel on a later date can do so. The trip must be completed on or before October 31, 2009. If the price of the new package is higher than that of the trip originally planned, the passenger must cover the difference in price. If the price of the new package is lower than that of the trip originally planned, there will be no refund.
2. Travel to another destination: passengers who wish to travel to a different destination can do so by selecting another destination offered by Air Transat, Nolitours or Transat Holidays or in France by Vacances Transat and Look Voyages. The trip must be completed on or before October 31, 2009. If the price of the new package is higher than that of the trip originally planned, the passenger must cover the difference in price. If the price of the new package is lower than that of the trip originally planned, there will be no refund.
Transat is currently planning additional flights to other destinations to accommodate travellers.
Passengers currently in Mexico should seek information, since some return flights, after May 3, will be moved forward and schedules could be changed depending on the situation. Travellers should therefore contact their destination representative and look for signs to this effect in their hotel (usually in the lobby). Transat’s websites will also be updated as soon as flight schedules have been finalized. And travellers now in Mexico, or on the point of returning from the country, are encouraged to take the following precautions:
• Adhere to hygiene practices; that is, covering the mouth with the hand when coughing, washing the hands often with soap and warm water, and restricting direct physical contact.
• See a doctor if symptoms appear, even two weeks after returning from travel. Symptoms to watch out for are fatigue, fever, aching muscles and pain in the eyes, and headaches.
• Periodically consult governmental public health websites for the latest recommendations issued by authorities.
The public can obtain information released by the governments by calling 1 800 454 8302 in Canada and 01 45 50 34 60 in France.
Transat is following the situation closely and could take additional measures depending on decisions that will be made by the public health authorities and governments concerned. Similarly, the aforementioned measures could be changed as the situation evolves.
Transat A.T. Inc. is an integrated international tour operator with more than 60 destination countries and that distributes products in over 50 countries. A holiday travel specialist, Transat operates mainly in Canada and Europe, as well as in the Caribbean, Mexico and the Mediterranean Basin. Montreal-based Transat is also active in air transportation, destination services, accommodation and distribution. (TSX: TRZ.B, TRZ.A)