Nick Polifemi, TTAND’s Penny Martin & Dave Paterson of itravel2000
Denise Heffron with Skyway’s Aris Sidaretos
Pearlman, Ensemble Travel Group; Sandra Lombardi, Red Tag; Mary Santonato,
At a recent Transat cocktail
reception in tony Yorkville, Nicole Bursey,
Commercial Director Transat Tours,
began the summer 2016 overview by reminding owners and managers of many of
Canada’s largest retailers that Europe 2015 was the best in Transat’s history.
Indeed, the company posted operating income of $133.2 million compared with
$123.8 million in 2014.
building on that success with an even more aggressive summer program with more
destinations, more flights and a greater emphasis on land components. The latter, according to Bursey, having seen double digit increases in 2015.
This year, Transat is offering 314 holiday
packages with everything from France’s Loire Valley, to the Douro wine
country in Portugal as well as cycling packages in partnership with Vélo
Following the introduction of service to Prague and Budapest in
recent years, summer 2016’s star destination for TS is Zagreb. The
Croatian capital gained some notoriety last summer with SkyService’s failed
initiative but is back in the limelight to “round out
Transat’s central Europe offerings”, according to Bursey. It will be served by direct flights out of
YUL, YQB, YYZ, YYC and YVR.
Also new are flights to Glasgow from YUL
and Rome from YVR. In addition, connector flights within Canada have been
increased to give more access to the transatlantic sched.
Packaged cruising is on the menu this
summer as are guided coach tours, which Transat has been developing over the
last few years and has increased to 80 for this summer.
With the planned increases in frequency
and routes, I’m reminded of the Jean-Marc Eustache’s response to a question
about capacity during a December call with financial analysts.
whether he was worried about next summer's transatlantic market with big
capacity growth from both AC and WS, Eustache just laughed.
"If I worried about stuff
like that I'd be in a cemetery. I've seen it all in 38 years."
Here’s to hoping the low loonie doesn’t
turn that smile upside down.