Transat Throws A Bash To Celebrate 30th Anniversary Of First Flight
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
Vincent Crisanti, Toronto City Councillor, Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer, Transat, Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga, Jean-Marc Eustache, President and CEO, Transat, Michael Thompson, Toronto City Councillor
Jordi Solé, President, Hotel Division, Transat and Jean-Marc Eustache, President and CEO, Transat
With 250 partners and guests in attendance at its hangar near Toronto–Pearson airport, Transat, which stakes the claim as Canada’s first integrated international tourism company, celebrated the 30th anniversary of its first flight between Toronto and London, England.
“I am exceedingly proud when I look back at how far we’ve come since that first flight out of Toronto, and how much the company has grown in Ontario and the rest of Canada,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer, Transat.
“Over the years, our organization has adjusted to a changing and ever more competitive business environment. It has evolved and rapidly responded to emerging consumer needs when it comes to products, destinations, services, and of course price.”
Open Jaw's Nina Slawek described the event’s attendees as “a veritable who's who of industry partners and previous Transat employees -- including Nancy Jackson, Denise Heffron and Errol Francis. The sentiment expressed by many is that we don't often have the opportunity to get together in this fashion. It felt like what many of us fondly refer to as the good old days."
Eustache, who late last year announced plans to step down and pass the chief executive job to current operations boss Annick Guérard, expressed optimism for the future of the company he has steered for so many years and the industry in which he has played a starring role.
“We work in a vibrant industry full of stimulating challenges, which is seeing steady growth. And there is no shortage of travellers. We are moving forward enthusiastically and optimistically. Moreover, we recently created a new division that will see us develop our own hotel chain at our main sun destinations. By combining this new development platform with our existing leisure-travel business, we will remain on the leading edge of travel industry innovation.”
Today, Transat offers its Canadian customers 60 destinations in two major markets: transatlantic (Europe and the Middle East) and the South, out of 21 airports across the country, including in the Ontario cities of Toronto, Hamilton, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Windsor. It also sells flights to Canada in 13 European countries as well as in Israel, the United States and its sun destinations countries. YYZ welcomes nearly 1.5 million Transat passengers, 20% of them from Europe.
Transat’s 30 years was commemorated by political leaders, including the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Canada’s Minister of Small Business and Tourism.
“Since that first flight, Transat has grown to be a leader in Canada’s tourism industry. For 30 years, you have helped Canadians see the world, and brought the world to our shores. As we celebrate a record-breaking 2017 for Canadian tourism, this is an amazing time to be in the industry. I look forward to seeing what the next 30 years has in store, and wish you tremendous success.”
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also extended her congratulations.
“For decades, Transat has been a part of Ontario’s success and prosperity, helping people take advantage of opportunities — to work and travel, connect with loved ones, and to become global citizens. Thank you for all your hard work and for making Ontario better. Here’s to another 30 years and more!”
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.