Tag: Airbus A321

Air Transat begins the renewal of its fleet

Provided by Transat A.T. Inc.

Montreal, May 3, 2019 – Today, Air Transat, named the 2018 World’s Best Leisure Airline, is taking delivery of the first of 15 Airbus A321neoLRs that will be added to its fleet by 2022.

“The arrival of this new generation of aircraft is an important moment for our company and our passengers in many respects,” says Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer at Transat. “The Airbus A321neoLR represents what Air Transat stands for today and what we strive for in the coming years. It reinforces our position as a leader in sustainable tourism, while also offering our passengers a superior on-board experience. In addition, the aircraft’s long range will optimize our operations in our core markets, namely in our destinations in Europe, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.”

Greenest in its class

The Airbus A321neoLR is in perfect sync with Air Transat’s continued efforts in sustainable tourism. It is powered by Pratt & Whitney engines with the lowest fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 and NOX) in their class. Compared to previous generation Airbus aircraft, the Airbus A321neoLR consumes over 15% less fuel, generates 50% less noise in the cabin and communities, produces about 5,000 fewer tonnes of CO2 a year and lowers NOX emissions—which contribute to smog and acid rain— by 50%.

Renewed on-board experience

Passengers will step into an entirely redesigned cabin, where comfort is crucial. “A key element behind all of our decisions is that we want travellers to feel like they’re on vacation from the moment they set foot on board,” explains Guérard.

Air Transat and Airbus went over every detail of the cabin interior to ensure the best inflight experience possible. “We are proud to deliver the A321LR to Air Transat and to be associated with such a fine, innovative airline,” says Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.

Club Class, with its exclusive cabin and personalized service, was given a new look. Its 12 deep-blue natural leather seats, with their wider individual touch screens, are even more ergonomic and have a leg rest for maximum comfort.

In Economy Class, the 187 light-blue natural leather seats are wider than those of previous generations of Airbus, providing passengers with more personal space. They’re equipped with a state-of-the-art entertainment system, with larger individual touch screens and USB ports to charge electronic devices.

Air Transat’s second Airbus A321neoLR is set to land in June, with four more arriving in fall 2019. New planes will be gradually added, leading to an all-Airbus fleet by 2022. Air Transat has signed a deal with AerCap for the long-term lease of 15 Airbus A321neoLRs.

Air Canada prepares rouge subsidiary for ULCC competition

From Air Transport World – 9 August 2018 – 

Rouge-Boeing-767-300-Coastal-5As the Canadian ULCC market heats up, Air Canada said it is prepared to leverage the significant flexibility of its rouge subsidiary to ward off competition, from adding flights in major domestic markets to re-configuring aircraft to match rivals’ all-economy offerings.

“We have been preparing to ensure that we have all the tools necessary to offset [low-cost competition] and ensure that we are not negatively impacted,” Air Canada passenger airlines president Ben Smith said.

Set up five years ago as a leisure-destination operation, rouge’s network is heavily transborder and international, with only a handful of year-round and seasonal routes within Canada. None of them link any of the country’s six largest metropolitan areas—Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Edmonton—part of the carrier’s strategy to preserve mainline margins.

Calgary-based WestJet and its ULCC subsidiary Swoop are following a similar network strategy, but unlike rouge’s two-class aircraft, Swoop operates 189-seat all-economy Boeing 737-800s.

Fast-growing ULCC Flair Airlines is taking the strategy a step further, operating single-class, 158-seat 737-400s on popular domestic routes such as Toronto-Calgary and Vancouver-Calgary. The Edmonton-based carrier’s recent announcement to move its Hamilton services to Toronto will make it even more prominent, and it plans to follow rouge and Swoop into transborder services.

While Montreal-based Air Canada set up rouge as a hybrid low-cost leisure carrier, the company has flexibility to transform its subsidiary to meet market needs, thanks in part to a 2017 amendment to its pilot agreement. The deal lifted Rouge’s fleet-size cap of 50—25 widebodies and 25 narrowbodies—by permitting more narrowbodies based on Air Canada’s mainline operation and permits rouge aircraft to replace regional feeder flying.

Air Canada is already taking advantage of the narrowbody cap’s removal. Its 53-aircraft fleet includes 22 Airbus A319s and six A321s, and it plans to add three A320s next year. It also is evaluating its rouge deployment strategy in light of shifting market dynamics.

“We have not deployed one of our options, which is rouge on any of the major markets. We can do that,” Smith said. “We can also modify the rouge model …. We can densify the rouge aircraft to bring down the CASM. So, a lot of flexibility.”

Usage of the A320s will be determined by the best opportunities. While the strategy could change, Smith said three options are being considered: adding domestic capacity, flying attractive “southern” routes to Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean, or replacing regional-feeder flying.

“We’re quite pleased with the position we’re in,” he said.

, sean.broderick@aviationweek.com

Air Transat prepping for A321LRs by rapidly expanding in Europe

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Air Transat executives are describing the company’s rapid European summer expansion as part of a long-term strategy to remain competitive in transatlantic markets.

The airline will dump 15% more seats into Europe this summer – and do so with widebody aircraft that executives concede are not ideal for the job.

But starting next year, Transat will begin defending newly-acquired turf with an expanding fleet of efficient Airbus A321LRs.

“Our first goal [is] to increase frequencies so that we are able to protect our market share,” Annick Guerard, chief operating officer of Air Transat parent Transat AT, says on 14 June. “We need to take our place in those markets that we see are highly profitable.”

The 15% capacity gains will be carried on existing routes by A330s and A310s.

“Do we have the exact right aircraft to operate these routes? The answer is no,” Guerard says during the company’s fiscal second quarter earnings call. “We preferred to have smaller models like the A321 long-range, which is coming up in our fleet.”

The first of those aircraft – Transat has orders for 10 – will arrive in spring 2019. Transat will use A321LRs to replace A310s on transatlantic routes, it has said.

Guerard says Air Transat seeks to gain more share on routes to Portugal, French destinations besides Paris, as well as the UK.

“It needs to be done this year, as we see competition growing,” Guerard says. “If we don’t do it, others will.”

She does not name competitors, but next year WestJet will start acquiring the first of ten Boeing 787-9s, an aircraft that the airline has said it will likely deploy to Europe.

Transat’s European growth reflects broader industry expansion.

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