What Is the History Behind Air Transat?


Quick Answer

Air Transat is a subsidiary of Transat AT, a Canadian tour operator founded in the early 1980s. Inaugurating commercial flights in 1987, Air Transat grew steadily over the following decades. By 2015, the company was booking over 3.5 million airline passengers per year.

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Full Answer

Air Transat's parent company was founded in Montreal, Canada, as Trafic Voyages. The company initially focused on arranging travel from Canada to France. Renamed Transat AT, the company had a successful IPO in 1987 that generated proceeds of over $8 million. With these proceeds, Transat AT funded the creation of a subsidiary airline, Air Transat. Air Transat's first flight took place in November 1987. The flight started in Montreal and landed in Acapulco, Mexico. Air Transat achieved a growth milestone in 1993 when it acquired the fleet and assets of Nationair, a newly defunct airline.

In 2013, Air Transat finalized a lease deal with the air carrier Transavia France, extending Air Transat's winter passenger capacity. Under the terms of the deal, Transavia France committed to lease Boeing 737 aircraft to Air Transat each winter through 2019. Over time, Air Transat grew to become the third largest Canadian airline after Air Canada and WestJet. The company employs about 2,000 workers and flies to destinations in 30 nations.

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