Transat AT Inc. will be gradually suspending Air Transat flights until April 30 due to COVID-19, the company announced Wednesday.
The decision follows both the federal government’s announcement that Canada is closing its borders to foreign nationals, and similar decisions made by several other countries where Transat operates.
Sales for departures until April 30 are suspended, effective immediately, to and from most destinations in Europe and the United States. However, repatriation flights will still be operated during the next two weeks, in order to return Transat customers to Canada.
In the meantime, sales will temporarily remain open in both directions between Montreal, Paris and Lisbon, and between Toronto, London and Lisbon, to allow as many repatriations as possible.
Sales are also halted immediately from and to the Caribbean and Mexico. In this case again, flights will continue for a few more days in order to return Transat customers to Canada.
However, the company is advising Canadian customers who were scheduled to depart from Canada in the coming days to postpone their departures.
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“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,” Transat President and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marc Eustache said in a release.
“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.”
Transat customers who are currently at destinations should check the company’s website, as information necessary for the organization of return flights will be available. For these alternative arrangements, there will be no booking fee, and passengers will not have to pay any price difference.
For domestic flights, clients are encouraged to check that their flight is maintained on the website.
A date for a full halt of operations will be announced soon.
All customers who have been unable to travel because their flight has been cancelled will receive a credit for future travel, to be used within 24 months of their original travel date.
The company says that it will be reducing staffing in the coming days through temporary layoffs and reduction of work time or salary that will impact a significant portion of employees, while senior executives and members of the Board of Directors are taking pay cuts.