Air Transat seeking to reduce $20 million of costs from operations
Air Transat CEO and president Allen Graham poses for a photograph aboard an Airbus A330 during the unveiling of the new interior design of Transat jets in Montreal, Thursday, May 17, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013 4:27PM EST
MONTREAL -- Air Transat officials have begun a series of meeting with employees as it seeks $20 million in annual cost savings.
The subsidiary of tour operator Transat AT is considering operating a fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft to replace those flown under subcontract by Nova Scotia-based Canjet. That contract ends in April 2014.
To make the exercise financially attractive, Air Transat needs to make the cost cuts among other initiatives, spokeswoman Debbie Cabana said in an email.
Air Transat executives met with employees at company headquarters in Montreal and say they will conduct additional sessions over the coming days in Toronto and Vancouver.
Some of the savings will come from concessions by employee, who last year accepted a two-year wage freeze. But this time, the company isn't seeking to touch salaries, Cabana said.
Carol Lavoie, president of the pilots union, said Wednesday that from what he knows the employer's demands aren't "excessive."
He said pilots were prepared, for example, to stay in hotels near airports instead of downtown, which would allow the airline to realize considerable savings.
The union representing flight attendants couldn't be immediately reached for comment.
If Air Transat decides to operate the narrowbody planes, between six and 14 aircraft would be added to its fleet of 23 Airbus A310 and A330s.
The move could lead to the recall of some of the 50 pilots and hundreds of flight attendants who were laid off after Air Transat decided to reduce its capacity.
On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Transat's shares were down three cents at $5.97 in Wednesday afternoon trading.