Montreal, February 3, 2005
Air Transat, Canada’s leading vacation travel airline and a wholly owned subsidiary of Transat A.T. Inc., today inaugurated its new headquarters, located within the Montréal-Trudeau airport zone.
The new facilities also include a maintenance base for the 14 Airbus aircraft operated by the airline, which was founded in 1987. Flights to and from Montréal were transferred from Montréal-Mirabel to Montréal-Trudeau airport this past November 1.
Mr. Allen B. Graham, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Transat, provided an overview of the carrier’s development in recent years, a time when the entire travel industry was suffering from the impacts of the events of September 11, 2001. “We managed to cut our costs while improving our product, with the result that we are today, in my opinion, one of North America’s top performers in our segment — all thanks to the efforts of our entire team,” he said.
About half of Transat’s 2,000 employees are based in Montreal, including some 200 pilots, 400 flight attendants and 400 technicians and administrative staff. The newly built complex officially opened today includes 48,000 square feet of office space whose design concept combines efficiency and comfort. The building also features a 127,000 square-foot hangar for aircraft maintenance as well Air Transat’s operations centre, which supervises the airline’s flights on a 24/7 basis.
Handlex, another Transat subsidiary that provides baggage handling and aircraft cleaning, among other services, is also based at the new facilities. Handlex has nearly 400 employees in Montreal, and more than 800 total.
“The international tourism industry has enjoyed almost uninterrupted growth for the past 50 years or so, and the outlook for the future is very promising. For example, we expect that that there will be a billion tourists travelling the world annually by the year 2010,” said Mr. Eustache, who in addition to being President and CEO of Air Transat’s parent company is co-founder of the airline. Mr. Eustache also emphasized Air Transat’s contribution to the Canadian tourism industry, saying: “For nearly 20 years we have been playing a key role in the inflow of tourists to Canada, particularly from Europe. Through us, hundreds of thousands of travellers, especially from France, have discovered Quebec and the other provinces. Today, we are Canada’s largest incoming tour operator.”
About Air Transat
Air Transat offers departures from Canada to some 90 destinations in 25 countries. With a fleet of 14 aircraft, it is Canada’s leading vacation travel airline. Air Transat carries more than 2.4 million passengers annually.
About Transat A.T. Inc.
Transat A.T. Inc., with its head office in Montreal, is an integrated company specializing in the organization, marketing, and distribution of holiday travel. The core of its business consists of tour operators in Canada and France. Transat is also involved in air transportation, value-added services at travel destinations, as well as in distribution through travel agency networks. Transat is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:TRZ).