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Improved Q1 for Transat, overshadowed by COVID-19


March 16, 2020
By Wings Staff


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Transat A.T. Inc., one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world, on March 12 announced results for its 2020 first quarter, ended January 31, 2020. The company posted revenues of $692.8 million for the quarter, up $45.2 million (7.0 per cent) compared with 2019. As well, operations generated an operating loss of $25.1 million, compared with $48.6 million in 2019, an improvement of $23.6 million.

Transat explains its revenue growth was attributable to a 10.8 per cent increase in the number of travellers in its sun destinations program, which targets travel in the winter season. This equates to a per cent increase in capacity relative to the previous year.

Transat A.T. expects its sale to Air Canada to close by the second quarter of 2020 if the required regulatory approvals are obtained and conditions are met.

“We’re satisfied with the improvement in results for the first quarter, even though the coronavirus epidemic makes the rest of the year difficult to predict,” stated Jean-Marc Eustache, president and CEO of Transat. “But Transat has already faced several epidemiological threats in the past, including SARS and H1N1, and I firmly believe that the resilience of our teams and our solid balance sheet will enable us to deal with risks and difficulties once again.”

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In its quarterly report, Transat noted that since February 24 daily bookings are lower than last year, pointing to the impact of the coronavirus, and the difference has increased significantly in recent days. The company states it is impossible to predict the effect on future bookings and, therefore, will not provide an outlook for the second quarter or for the summer.

As of March 12, 2020, in the transatlantic market, the company’s main market during the summer, Transat’s capacity was up three per cent compared with 2019 – with 34 per cent of seats being sold.