Coronavirus: Transat AT plans to resume flights and tour operations on July 23

Air Transat aircrafts are seen on the tarmac at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport in Montreal, on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Transat AT Inc. plans to resume flights and tour operations starting on July 23 after grounding its aircraft earlier this year due to the pandemic and resulting border closures.

The Montreal-based tour company that owns Air Transat said Thursday it will begin a gradual resumption of operations with plans for 23 international routes over the summer as well as some domestic operations.

“With our Traveller Care program, we are implementing all the necessary protocols to safeguard our clients’ health,” Transat chief executive Jean-Marc Eustache said in statement.

“This is a first step towards getting healthy operations back on track, from both a business and financial perspective.”

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Transat, which is in the process of being acquired by Air Canada, has suspended all of its flights since April 1.

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The announcement of the plan to resume flying came as Transat reported a loss of $179.5 million or $4.76 per diluted share in the quarter ended April 30 compared with a loss of $939,000 or two cents per diluted share a year ago.

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Revenue in what was the company’s second quarter fell to $571.3 million compared with $897.4 million in the same quarter last year.

On an adjusted basis, Transat says it lost $38.8 million or $1.03 per share for the quarter compared with an adjusted loss of $6.4 million or 17 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago.

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Coronavirus: What you need to know for summer travel in Canada

Air Canada’s deal to buy Transat for $720 million has been agreed to by shareholders, but still requires regulatory approval in Canada and the European Union.

Last month, European regulators launched an in-depth investigation into the deal amid European Commission concerns it may reduce competition and result in higher prices.

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A preliminary European Commission investigation worried the proposed deal could significantly reduce competition on 33 origin and destination city pairs between Europe and Canada.

These include 29 where both companies offer direct services and four where one company flies direct and the other one indirect via one of its hubs.

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