Transat marked 30 years last night at Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport, welcoming more than 375 guests, dignitaries and business partners to celebrate three decades and toast the future of the company.
Thirty years ago to the day - November 14, 1987 - an Air Transat aircraft flew for the first time from Montreal with an enthusiastic group of vacationers heading for Acapulco on the wings of a Lockheed 1011.
It goes without saying that the carrier has come a long way since.
"We’re rather young, 30 years old, but not in our industry. I have not counted the companies that I saw born and expire during my career," said Jean-Marc Eustache, co-founder and president and CEO of Transat, in an interview with PAX.
Proud of his team's award-winning work, Eustache took the opportunity to recall the values dear to the heart of Transat: "To present travellers with an affordable product that allows them to discover the world; with the largest network of travel agencies in Canada to get closer to people and meet their expectations, to offer the best quality / price ratio that can be imagined in terms of transatlantic travel and sun. Friendliness, efficiency, expertise – these are there our promises for the future."
Many new developments are on the horizon for Transat, including 10 new Airbus aircraft planned for 2019-2020, to facilitate the management of the fleet and optimize the obligations of pilots.
"Certainly, we will not rest on our laurels!" Eustache said. "We are the leader in the tourism industry in Canada and we intend to stay that way."
Jean-Marc Eustache, Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer with Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer
A new livery
The evening saw the unveiling of a new livery for Air Transat aircraft, reflecting the recent evolution of the brand image.
The star, Transat's unmistakable emblem, proudly appears on the tail and the rear fuselage side, but also on the wingtips. To highlight the 30th anniversary, the color palette includes touches of gray, a nod to the first livery of Air Transat.
The 2017 version sports a gradient of blue that evokes the transformative action of travel. Finally, the name Air Transat appears on the side and under the fuselage of the plane to be seen when the aircraft is in flight.
Details on Transat's hotel division
Does the extreme simplification of Transat’s portfolio of brands betray a desire to verticalize its operations?
"It was certainly a desire on our part, since we have grouped all our products under two major brands, Transat and Air Transat," explained Jean-Marc Eustache. "But as we also want to learn about hotel development, we need capital, and that's also why we have redesigned our portfolio."
This fall, Transat announced the sale of Jonview Travel for $44 million CAD to Japanese multinational H.I.S. Co. Ltd, shortly after selling its stake in Ocean Hotels, amounting to $150.5 million US. And just over a year ago, Transat’s France- and Greece-based tour-operating business units Transat France and Tourgreece were sold to TUI AG, in an $80 million transaction.
These significant transactions thus give Transat the means to fuel its ambitions.
Hotels are planned in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic for a projected inventory of 5,000 rooms by 2025. Nothing in sight for Cuba in the immediate future, however, Eustache said.
"Cuba only allows us to do hotel management. We do not wish to manage, but rather own the hotels to have them to our taste and our image," he said.
This brand new hotel division will be independent of the Transat group and will be led by its own management team, which will also be appointed shortly.
Transat's new livery
Transat by the numbers
60 destinations Three continents Two major markets: Europe and South 21 Canadian airports 5,000 employees worldwide 4.5 million passengers a year 3 billion annual turnover 49 devices 500,000 European travelers transported to Canada