Welcome! Bienvenue! and HoşGeldiniz! to the second part of this two-part special on Air Transat. For those of you who’d like some background information about Canada’s largest charter operator and their recent foray into Canada’s domestic markets, please check out Part 1.
As discussed at the end of part 1, this 2-part special will conclude by showcasing Air Transat’s new corporate livery (which was unveiled on November 13th, 2017) and examining their plans to lease 10 Airbus A-321 Neo LR (long range) aircraft in 2019.
In the months leading up to Air Transat’s 30th anniversary, I contacted the carrier and floated the idea of a collaborative piece in celebration of the achievement. Airways Magazine had recently profiled both WestJet and Air Canada (Rouge) while remaining quiet on Air Transat; I thought that I could fly under the radar of my competition, profile the carrier, and possibly sample the airline’s domestic product along the way. I had suspicions that the carrier was planning something special for their 30th anniversary, however, possibly through my inexperience, my inquiry was ultimately passed over by their media team.
Sure enough, only a week after the carrier’s official anniversary, a writer for Airways Magazine published a story on AT’s new corporate livery. When I had the chance to look over AT’s press release, I noticed that many of the airline’s original elements had been preserved; that being said, the new livery features a handful of worthy additions and revisions as summarized below.
- At the front of the aircraft, the size of the “Main Titles” has been reduced so that it now fits on one line; according to the press release from AT, this action improves the legibility of the titles and adds an air of elegance to the overall look.
- At the rear of the aircraft, the shading and colours of the tail have been slightly modified, and the multilingual “Welcome” messages have been removed. The tail continues to feature the iconic 5 point Transat star, however, the dark blue of old was replaced by a gentle light blue; a silver band located near the last passenger door helps transition the blue to the “EuroWhite” fuselage colour.
- The final element of note has to be the new “Logotype” placed on the carrier’s belly. Following the footsteps of Emirates, Delta, Air Canada, and a number of other carriers, Air Transat aircraft will now be recognizable from the ground.
While I have never had strong opinions on any of Air Transat’s previous liveries, I would say that their new livery is a stronger offering than the carrier’s post2005/pre2011 livery. Whether it becomes a classic, that remains to be seen.
Finally, as mentioned in the introduction, on July 11th, 2017 Air Transat made the announcement that it would be the launch operator of the Airbus A-321 NEO LR in North America. The airline announced its plan to lease 10 aircraft, beginning in 2019, from Netherlands based aircraft leasing company AerCap.
John Leahy, the Chief Operating Officer-Customers for Airbus was quoted as saying “This is an ideal aircraft for the North American market, and particularly for a carrier like Air Transat,” As we discussed in an earlier post, the A-321 NEO LR has the potential to be a game changer for North American and Western European carriers. Many aviation experts have praised the aircraft and envision it replicating the success of Boeing’s 757-200/300 series aircraft on trans-Atlantic services.
With Air Transat planning to retire its remaining fleet of Airbus A-310 aircraft, which currently operate medium-long haul routes, the A-321 NEO LR is expected to fill the void. It can be configured for high-density operations to the Carribean, or for medium density operations to vacation destinations in Europe. The A-321 NEO will also be considerably more fuel efficient than the A-310, likely saving Air Transat thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars per year in fuel costs.
If you would like to learn additional information about the A-321 NEO LR and AerCap’s leasing agreement with Air Transat, please check out the following link.