Leisure carriers Air Transat and Thomas Cook Airlines signed a seven-year agreement for the exchange of aircraft on a seasonal basis, which will enable the two carriers to manage their fleets more efficiently. The deal calls for UK-based Thomas Cook to make available a number of narrowbody Airbus A321s every winter to Montreal-based Air Transat, which will receive at least one widebody A330-200 in return.
The agreement takes advantage of the different seasonality of the two companies: Air Transat uses a greater number of smaller aircraft in winter to serve its destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Florida, and larger aircraft in summer to serve the transatlantic market. In contrast, Thomas Cook uses smaller aircraft in the summertime to fly to destinations around the Mediterranean Sea and larger widebody aircraft in the winter to fly to the long-haul destinations like Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Transat president and CEO Jean-Marc Eustache said the deal “allows us to improve our flexible-fleet model, making it even more efficient. Our fleet will eventually consist solely of Airbus A330 and aircraft from the A320 family, such as the A321, which will mean a more harmonized travel experience for our customers as well as lower operating costs.”