Air Transat – Years of friendship
Near the end of my Air Canada career, I worked as a station expediter in YVR maintenance. My job was to order the parts required for the overnight maintenance crew when their shift started.
The Airbus A330 fleet (eight aircraft at the time) were rotated though Vancouver regularly; we had one of the fleet in the hangar every night.
Air Transat was the only other airline in Canada operating A330’s and we would often have to go to them to purchase (or borrow) parts that were not available in our own system. Their staff were always a pleasure to deal with and could not have been more helpful.
When I heard the news reports of Air Canada acquiring Air Transat, I was a little surprised at first, but it did seem like a natural occurrence. The two airlines have a long and friendly relationship.
Air Transat was founded in December 1986 by Francois Legault (the current Premier of Quebec) and a group of business partners.
I am quite sure that I will be corrected on this but, as I remember, they began operations with two former Air Canada L-1011’s, registrations C-FTNB and C-FTNC, that had been shared with Eastern Airlines.
These aircraft were close to twenty years old by the time Air Transat leased them and they remained in service until the early 2000’s.
Although L-1011’s were regarded as not being cost efficient for scheduled service, Air Transat managed to get a successful charter carrier started with a couple of them.