Transat A.T. Inc., - CEO, Jean Marc Eustache
CEO, Jean Marc Eustache
Source: Fan de Cuba
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  • Transat A.T. (TSX:TRZ) has announced the gradual suspension of Air Transat international flights until April 30
  • The company made the decision in light of Canada’s recent border closure to foreign nationals
  • Transat will only conduct repatriation flights to return customers to their home countries
  • The company is the latest victim of the COVID-19 economic downturn
  • Transat’s share price has fallen 17.47 per cent, and is currently trading at $4.96 per share

Tour operator Transat AT (TSX:TRZ) has announced the gradual suspension of Air Transat international flights until April 30, 2020.

The company is just the latest in the tourism and aviation industry to fall prey to the COVID-19 economic crisis. 

Transat made the decision phase out its international flights, after the Canadian government announced border closures to foreign nationals. Other countries where Transat operates have made similar choices in recent days.

The company has immediately suspended general flight sales to and from most destinations in Europe, the US, the Caribbean, and Mexico, until April 30. 

However, Transat will operate repatriation flights for the next two weeks, in order to return customers to their homelands. In order to allow as many repatriations as possible, Transat will keep flight sales to and from Montreal, Paris, Lisbon, Toronto, and London open. 

Repatriated fliers will not have to pay a booking fee or any price difference. In addition, customers who are unable to travel because of flight cancellations will receive a company credit for future travel. 

The company has advised Canadian customers who were planning to fly internationally in the coming days to postpone their departure. 

For domestic flights, Transat has encouraged customers to check that their flights are maintained on the website.

Transat has yet to announce a date for a full operations halt, but will do so soon.

Transat President and CEO, Jean-Marc Eustache, called the development an unprecedented situation, beyond all control. 

“We are forced to briefly suspend all our flights, to contribute to the effort to fight the pandemic, protect customers and employees, and safeguard the company.

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,” he promised.

The company has already implemented a number of cost-cutting measures, and will make more in the coming days. 

Transat has announced plans to reduce staffing, through temporary lay-offs, and reduced work time and salaries. Unfortunately these measures will impact a significant portion of Transat employees. 

The company’s senior executives and board of directors are also taking pay cuts.

Transat’s share price has fallen 17.47 per cent, and is currently trading at $4.96 per share, as of 3:03pm EST.

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