MONTREAL, Sept. 13, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Transat A.T. Inc. announces the signing of an agreement for the seasonal leasing of Boeing B737-800 narrow-body aircraft that will be supplied in winter by Transavia France, the Air France/KLM Group's French leisure airline. The five-year pact is for four planes for the winter of 2015, five for 2016, six for 2017, seven for 2018 and eight for 2019. The aircraft, which will be operated by Air Transat, will fly to Sun destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean.
This agreement follows from Transat's already expressed decision to internalize narrow-body medium-haul operations, for which it has relied on a third-party partner since 2003, and to adopt a so-called "accordion fleet" strategy, which enables it to adjust the number of aircraft to the seasonal needs of the tourism market. On July 24, Transat announced an agreement with the U.S.-based International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) for the long-term leasing of four Boeing B737-800s, which will become the core of Air Transat's permanent narrow-body fleet.
"We are continuing to move forward with our implementation of a fleet of narrow- and wide-body jets that is adaptable to seasonal needs," said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat, adding: "This deal gives us greater flexibility and a significantly improved cost structure. This strategy is key to our future success and to a return to profitability in winter, and will also ensure that we maintain the high quality of our products and our customer experience."
For his part, Antoine Pussiau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transavia France, enthused: "We are thrilled to strengthen our relationship with our partner of choice Transat A.T. By renewing an agreement originally forged between the two companies in 2010, Transavia France is once again improving its flexibility and its ability to adapt to the seasonal nature of its operations."
About Transavia France
Transavia France is the French leisure airline founded by the Air France/KLM Group. It offers very competitive priced scheduled and charter flights to European and Mediterranean destinations directly to consumers as well as to tour operators.
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 inCanada and Europe, as well as in the Caribbean, Mexico and the Mediterranean Basin. Montreal-based Transat is also active in air transportation, accommodation, destination services and distribution. Transat's firm commitment to sustainable tourism development is reflected in its multiple corporate responsibility initiatives. (TSX: TRZ.B, TRZ.A).