Transat A.T. Inc. announces new partnership with the international organization SOS Children’s Villages

Montreal, December 22, 2009

Transat A.T. Inc., one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world and Canada's holiday travel leader, is pleased to announce its new partnership with the international humanitarian organization SOS Children’s Villages. With the help of its customers and employees, Transat will, in particular, provide significant financial support to this organization that gives disadvantaged children a warm, affectionate, secure and permanent family environment. 

Present in 132 countries, SOS Children’s Villages has been working on behalf of orphaned and abandoned children for more than 60 years, and cares for over 70,000 children in 500 SOS Villages. In addition, the organization operates over 185 schools where 100,000 children receive an education that is essential to their development. SOS Children’s Villages also has other programs, serving over 700,000, which endeavour to respond to children’s primary needs in terms of healthcare, professional training and personal guidance.  

“Through its association with SOS Children’s Villages, Transat is seeking to contribute to the well-being of children in its destination countries, where very often even their most basic needs are not met,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat. “The commitment of our company and our employees speaks to a desire to improve the fortunes of individuals and communities, while helping them develop.”

Transat and its employees have already conducted an internal fund-raising campaign that raised a total of more than $85,000 that will soon be handed over to SOS Children’s Villages. In addition, passengers flying on Air Transat have been encouraged to donate their pocket change, which is shared, since December 15, between two organizations – the Children’s Wish Foundation, a longstanding Air Transat partner, and now SOS Children’s Villages. This fund-raising operation aboard all flights is called “Small Change, Big Hearts” and the flight crews’ generous commitment to children has always been key to its success.

“Today’s announcement marks an incredible milestone in SOS Children’s Villages history, and we are thrilled by our new relationship with Transat”, said Boyd McBride, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Canada. “Transat shares our dedication to helping build futures for the world’s orphaned and abandoned children. We look forward to working with Transat to continue to provide children in need with homes, education and healthcare.”

SOS Children’s Villages Canada, the Canadian branch of the international organization, was founded in 1969. The Canadian office supports the SOS Children’s Villages goal of providing homes and new families for children who have lost everything, and gives to the SOS Children’s Villages kindergartens, schools, medical clinics and outreach programs that serve children and families living in difficult conditions. In 2009, SOS Children’s Villages Canada opened the first all-Canadian-funded SOS Children’s Village in Africa.

Transat is collaborating with SOS Children’s Villages in Canada (SOS Children’s Villages Canada), in France (SOS Villages d’Enfants France), and in the United Kingdom (SOS Children’s Villages UK), Transat’s main source markets. This partnership with SOS Children’s Villages stems from Transat’s firm desire to take action at travel destinations, and its commitment to social responsibility and sustainable tourism. With this in mind, Transat embarked several years ago on an approach that seeks to reconcile economic development, environmental stewardship and respect for local populations.

About Transat

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 and distribution. (TSX: TRZ.B, TRZ.A)