Christine McDonald, Expedia; Franca Iuele, Ensemble; Mary Santonato, Transat.
Transat’s Dan Prior, TDC’s Rita Polegri and Transat’s Denise Heffron
Gilles Ringwald, VP Commercial, Air Transat
Europe, your way, with Transat
Victor Rudko, CAA
Lynda Sinclair, Vision Travel Solutions
In case we didn’t know it, it is now official. The Transat brand is now the one and only. Superseding any and all other incarnations of the operator such as Nolitours and TMR.
That was one of the messages at a recent friendly Friday lunch with the Transat team at Toronto’s Rosewater Supperclub.
Leading the team for Transat were Denise Heffron - VP National Sales and Commercial, and Gilles Ringwald – VP Commercial for Air Transat. We were wined and dined as we heard about all of the recent developments at Transat.
Denise spoke about a variety of special projects the company has been working on over the last few years designed to streamline their business. One, as mentioned above, is the recognition that the Transat brand holds a lot of equity with consumers and should be leveraged to its fullest capacity.
The other is the way the company now approaches retailer relationships; “At every step of the way, we asked ourselves ‘How can we do it better?” said Denise Heffron, “One size doesn’t fit all any more – we have home-based agents, consortiums, groups specialists; all types of retailers.” And, she explained, each has different needs – so Transat is trying to improve everything in the process, from tailor-made agreements to enhanced reporting.
The refinements don’t stop there though – as Gilles Ringwald later explained, the company is also making huge improvements on the air side of the business. As the new face of the airline, Gilles presented a plan for an enriched flight connection program within Canada (daily flights from YUL to YYZ and YYZ to YVR for example) and new interline relationships to improve connectivity throughout Europe. The goal, as always, is to get clients on holidays as quickly as possible.
Other notable changes for the 2017/18 season include new cycling tours (suitable for varying fitness levels!) plus a new local help line for Europe trips – and a new approach to cruise sales: cruises will only be sold in packages including air and transfers.
Regardless of what they’re looking at, clients should consider getting a head-start: Early Booking Bonus deadlines are December 15 and February 28 for packages, coach tours and cruises – but there’s one additional EBB for cruises, expiring April 30th.
We, on the other hand, got the best type of bonus of all: a delicious head start on the weekend.
Robert Reed, Director, National Accounts, Lindsay Merrill, Inside Sales Supervisor; Dan Prior, Sales Manager; Denise Heffron, VP National Sales and Commercial; Mary Santonato, Director, Group Sales; Erin Oddleifson, Director, Commercial Marketing Gilles Ringwald, VP Commercial, Air Transat; Steve Brown, Inside Sales Representative