Transat A.T. Inc. has announced the gradual suspension of Air Transat flights until April 30th.
This decision, announced Wednesday (March 18th), follows the Government of Canada's announcement that the country is closing its borders to foreign nationals, as well as similar decisions by several other countries where Transat operates.
Sales for departures until April 30th are suspended immediately from and to most destinations in Europe and the United States, the company stated.
Repatriation flights will still be operated during the next two weeks, in order to bring Transat customers back to their home country.
To allow as many repatriations as possible, sales will, however, remain temporarily open in both directions between Montreal and Paris and Lisbon and between Toronto and London and Lisbon.
A date for a full halt to operations will be announced soon.
Sales are also halted immediately from and to the Caribbean and Mexico, the company stated, adding that flights will continue for a few more days in order to repatriate Transat customers to Canada.
Transat is advising Canadian customers who were scheduled to depart in the coming days to heed the government's recommendations and postpone their departure.
For domestic flights, clients are encouraged to check that their flight is maintained on the website.
Transat customers who are currently at destinations are asked to check the company's website, where necessary information for the organization of their return will be made available.
There will be no booking fee and passengers will not have to pay any price difference.
“It is of the utmost importance to Transat to bring everyone back,” the company stated.
All customers who were unable to travel because their flight is cancelled will receive a credit for future travel, to be used within 24 months of their original travel date.
"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."
In addition to cost-cutting measures already implemented in recent weeks, the company will will be moving ahead in the coming days with measures to reduce staffing.
"These measures will include temporary layoffs and reduction of work time or salary that will unfortunately affect a significant portion of our employees," the company stated.
The company's senior executives and members of the Board of Directors are also taking pay cuts.
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!