Inaugural Flight Toulouse-Mirabel - Air Transat’s first Airbus A330-200 takes flight

Toulouse (France), February 23, 1999

February 23, 1999 – Air Transat, the leading charter air carrier in Canada, took delivery of its first A330-200 aircraft in Toulouse today in the hangars of Airbus Industrie. A second aircraft of the same type will be delivered to Air Transat at the end of April.

“The company’s strategy is to have at its disposal a fleet comprised, on the one hand, of aircraft with low fixed costs and, on the other hand, of aircraft with low variable costs. The former are used only during peak periods: winter weekends and the summer high season. The latter are operated year-round to their maximum capacity. The new A330-200s belong in this second category of aircraft. We expect to generate revenues of about $CAN50 million per year per aircraft.

Consequently, Air Transat is in a position to meet the highly varied requirements of tour operators by providing them with modes of air-travel that are adapted to the needs of vacation travelers,” stated Philippe Sureau, president and chief executive officer of Air Transat.“For consumers, these ultramodern aircraft offer the convenience of wide-body aircraft with two aisles, the possibility of serving two hot meals on long-haul flights, and access to more destinations through non-stop flights,” continued Mr. Sureau.

“Air Transat’s passengers are, for the most part, vacationers for whom the accessibility of travel is an important criterion; these aircraft provide comfort at the lowest possible price.” With the arrival of these aircraft, Air Transat continues to pursue the renewal of its fleet, which now consists of ten (362-seat) Lockheed 1011-150s, four (309-seat) Lockheed 1011-500s, five (228-seat) Boeing 757-200ERs, and two (362-seat) Airbus A330-200s.

The Airbus A330-200s deploy leading-edge technology, which will enable Air Transat to realize substantial savings with regard to maintenance and fuel consumption. On average, a A330-200 consumes 29% less fuel than an L-1011-500 and 9% less than a Boeing 757. The aircraft’s configuration has been harmonized with that of the L-1011-150 (which carries 362 passengers, including the Club Transat section) to facilitate its operation. With its extended range (10,000 km), the first missions of these new aircraft will be to fly Air Transat’s summer transatlantic routes (particularly to ensure non-stop service to Europe from Vancouver, and to Greece and Portugal from Toronto and Montreal) and to carry passengers to the sunshine destinations in winter. The A330-200 is powered by twin Rolls-Royce Trent 772 engines, each of which generates a maximum take-off thrust of 72,000 lb. These motors have been chosen by 41% of all A330 operators engine, which include numerous charter carriers. Eight other airlines are due to begin operating Trent-powered A330s this year.

Air Transat, a wholly owned subsidiary of Transat A.T. Inc., is a charter air carrier offering flights out of five major bases: Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, Halifax and Vancouver.  Its current fleet is comprised of 20 aircraft.  Its primary routes during the summer season are between Canada and Europe, and domestically within Canada.  During the winter season, it operates between Canada and popular sunshine destinations (Caribbean, Mexico, the United States, Central America and South America.  Air Transat also operates scheduled flights between Canada and France, and is the airline designated by Canada for scheduled service between Canada and Cuba.  Air Transat transports over 2,500,000 passengers each year and employs 1,600 people.

Transat A.T. Inc., the leader in the Canadian travel and tourism industry, is a public corporation listed on the Montreal Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.  Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, it is involved in all aspects of the distribution of travel services and air transportation.  Its wholly-owned subsidiaries are: the airline Air Transat, tour operators Vacances Air Transat Holidays (Montréal, Québec City, Toronto, Vancouver and Fort Lauderdale), Vacances Air Transat (France), Nolitour (Montreal) and Regent Holidays (Toronto) as well as the Tourbec travel agency chain.  Transat A.T. holds interests in tour operators Look Voyages (98%), Brok’Air (39%) and World of Vacations (35%), in Consultour/Club Voyages, a travel agency franchise group (50%) as well as in Services Haycot (50%), an airport handling services company.  Vacances Air Transat holds a 66.7% interest in the incoming tour operator DMC Transat and Look Voyages owns 49.6% of STAR Airlines.