Transat To Gradually Suspend Flights Through 30APR, Layoffs Coming
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
Transat has announced it will gradually suspend Air Transat flights until 30APR, following the Government of Canada's announcement that the country is closing its borders to foreign nationals, as well as similar decisions made by several other countries where Transat operates.
"This is an unprecedented situation, beyond our control, which is forcing us to briefly suspend all of our flights to contribute to the effort to fight the pandemic, protect our customers and employees and safeguard the company," said Transat President and CEO Jean-Marc Eustache.
"We are doing everything we can so that this has as little impact as possible on our employees and customers, whom we make sure to bring back home."
Sales for departures until 30APR are suspended immediately from and to most destinations in Europe and the United States.
Repatriation flights will still be operated during the next two weeks, Transat says, in order to bring customers back to their home country.
So as to allow as many repatriations as possible, sales will remain temporarily open in both directions between Montreal and Paris and Lisbon and between Toronto and London and Lisbon. The company says a date for a full halt to operations will be announced soon.
Sales are also halted immediately from and to the Caribbean and Mexico. Again, flights will continue for a few more days in order to repatriate Transat customers. Transat is advising its Canadian customers who were scheduled to depart in the coming days to heed the government's recommendations and postpone their departure.
All customers who were unable to travel because their flight is cancelled will receive a credit for future travel, to be used within 24 months of the original travel date.
Eustache said employee layoffs are inevitable in the days ahead.
“In addition to the cost-cutting measures already implemented in recent weeks, we will be moving ahead in the coming days with measures to reduce staffing. These measures will include temporary layoffs and reduction of work time or salary that will unfortunately affect a significant portion of our employees. The company's senior executives and members of the Board of Directors are also taking pay cuts.”
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.
jennifer- March 18, 2020 @ 10:31
airtransat cancels flights gives credit but what about the credit for land? will transat also credit the package(air, transfers and land packages)??
Richard- March 18, 2020 @ 10:23
My fellow agents.....correct me if I am wrong..... Transat is cancelling flights and they are giving the clients a credit valid for 24 months instead of a refund...... CRAZY....
Agents are the ones who have to let the clients know this.....