Jean-Marc Eustache, president and chief executive officer of Transat A.T., took up the pen to speak directly to the company's customers and travel advisors.
"I have weathered many storms since I founded Transat, and I am convinced of one thing: our experience and our resilience will allow us to get through this crisis and come out of it more solid," he wrote in a note posted to Transat's website.
Here, we present Mr. Eustache's message in full:
We know that this crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty and has had some serious repercussions on your daily life.
Even as the situation changes rapidly from day to day, the well-being of our customers remains a top priority. That’s why we’d like to share with you all the efforts we’ve made in repatriating our passengers, as well as the concrete measures we’ve put in place in these exceptional circumstances.
On a more personal note, I’ve been in the tourism industry for over 40 years, and having people travel and discover other cultures has been my life. Surrounded by an experienced and passionate team, I’ve weathered many storms since I founded Transat, and I can say one thing with confidence: our experience and resilience will help us overcome this crisis and emerge stronger than ever.
Our repatriation flights will continue until April 1
As you may know, we have begun the gradual suspension of our flights, until the temporary cessation of our operations on April 1. It was important for us that this slowdown happen gradually, to allow as many travellers as possible to be repatriated to their countries of origin.
To date, our repatriation flights have brought approximately 46,000 customers back home, and this number will continue to rise in the coming days.
I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our flight crews who, under these stressful and difficult conditions, continue their extraordinary efforts to reassure our passengers and reunite them with their loved ones.
To support the repatriation efforts of Canadians currently abroad, we will also be operating special flights over the next few days in collaboration with the Government of Canada.
We would like to remind you that all our flights are carried out in strict compliance with the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada in order to avoid the spread of the virus. All our passengers must also place themselves in isolation for a period of 14 days upon arrival in Canada.
Our teams are dedicated to providing quality service to our customers
We know that some of you may have had to wait a long time on the phone or on social media in the last few days. We sincerely apologize for the longer-than-usual wait times.
However, I want to assure you that our customer service agents are working hard to answer your questions as quickly as possible. Overall, our agents have responded to more than 120,000 phone calls and social media messages since this crisis began.
I also invite you to read the latest updates about our operations on our website and social media.
Closure of Voyages Transat/Transat Travel agencies
To meet governmental requirements and to ensure the safety of our customers and employees, Voyages Transat/Transat Travel agencies had to close their doors until further notice.
In the meantime, please rest assured that your requests will be treated by phone or email. If you need to get in touch with your travel adviser, we invite you to consult your agency’s website or social media to find out how to proceed. Your adviser will do their best to respond to you as quickly as possible.
Although it is still too early to make any statements about what will happen next or what the full extent of the consequences of this pandemic will be, we are confident that our operations will resume shortly.
In these difficult times, our hearts go out to all of you. We know that you’re going through a situation that none of us have experienced before. I hope you will get through it with your loved ones, in good health. And I sincerely hope that the time will soon come when the joy of vacationing will once again brighten your everyday.
Take good care of yourselves.
President and Chief Executive Officer