Paris attacks have slowed travel bookings, but upswing expected: Transat AT CEO

MONTREAL -- Last month's terrorist attacks in Paris have caused a chill in travel from Canada to the French capital but the impact is expected to be temporary, tour operator Transat AT said Thursday.

See Full Article

"It's normal but we don't see that (continuing)," Transat CEO Jean-Marc Eustache told analysts on a conference call.

Eustache referred to a much greater chill after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States that caused the airline to ground 25 per cent of its aircraft, reduce staff and cut salaries.

"It was the worst that had ever happened in the world and (within six months) I was hiring everybody back," Eustache said.

Transat declined to provide details about the size of the sales decline since the Nov. 13 co-ordinated attacks in Paris that killed 130 and injured hundreds more.

But it said the decline in bookings has mostly affected flights before Christmas. Bookings for flights early in the new year and for the coming summer are running ahead of last year.

Before the Paris attacks, Transat (TSX:TRZ) posted a strong summer season, earning $69.1 million in the three months ended Oct. 31, up from $30.6 million a year ago.

Excluding the impact of fuel-hedging, restructuring and asset impairments, Transat earned $54.8 million or $1.44 per diluted share. That was up from $49.4 million or $1.27 per share a year earlier and above analyst estimates of $1.23.

Revenues decreased 0.6 per cent to $839.2 million, as lower fuel costs triggered a decline in average selling prices.

"Our summer results at a time when global capacity was up seven per cent on the transatlantic market are the second-best we ever recorded and are part of Top 5 summer results all achieved in the in last six years," chief financial officer Denis Petrin said.

For the full year ended Oct. 31, adjusted profits fell five per cent to $42.9 million or $1.11 per diluted share as revenues decreased about $200 million to $3.6 billion.

The company said it is hoping to improve its financial performance in the upcoming winter season, which runs until the end of April, after several years of losses, even as it expects operating costs to rise four per cent as the weaker Canadian dollar more than offsets the benefit from lower fuel costs.

Sales of packages to Transat's large market in Cuba are holding up even though Cuban hotels have tied their prices to the U.S. dollar, resulting in increases of up to 15 per cent for Canadians because of the loonie's depreciation.

Transat's top three markets -- Mexico, Dominican Republic and Cuba -- account for 90 per cent of its traffic over the winter.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Competition Bureau reaches settlement with Leon's and the Brick

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA - The Competition Bureau says it has reached an agreement with Leon's Furniture Ltd. and the Brick Ltd. regarding allegations of deceptive marketing practices. As part of the settlement, Leon's and the Brick have agreed to each donate $750,000 worth of home furnishings over two years to charities to be approved by the regulator. Source
  • Competition Bureau settles with Leon's, The Brick over marketing practices

    Economic CBC News
    The Competition Bureau says it has reached an agreement with Leon's Furniture Ltd. and the Brick Ltd. regarding allegations of deceptive marketing practices. As part of the settlement, Leon's and The Brick have agreed to each donate $750,000 worth of home furnishings over two years to charities to be approved by the regulator. Source
  • Pipeline backlogs to cost Canadian economy $10.7B this year: Scotiabank

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Delayed oil pipeline construction is causing a steep discount for Canadian crude prices that is costing the economy roughly $15.6 billion a year or about 0.75 per cent of GDP, according to Scotiabank. Source
  • Don't fall for the staging: Real estate expert on how to avoid rookie buyer mistakes

    Economic CTV News
    Being a first-time home buyer without guidance from qualified professionals is like using the internet to diagnose a serious illness -- it’s not going to end well. That’s the advice Toronto real estate agent and industry expert Karyn Filiatrault gives to millennials looking to enter the housing market. Source
  • Trump government expected to defend tariffs on Canadian solar modules in court

    Economic CBC News
    President Donald Trump's decision to hit imports of Canadian solar energy modules with staggering tariffs, starting this month, has sparked another court battle over the extent of his powers to push through his America First agenda. Source
  • Trump administration expected to defend tariffs on Canadian solar modules in U.S. trade court

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to hit imports of Canadian solar energy modules with staggering tariffs, starting this month, has sparked another court battle over the extent of his powers to push through his America First agenda. Source
  • Canadian wholesale sales fall for first time in three months

    Economic CBC News
    Canadian wholesale sales fell surprisingly for the first time in three months in December as sales in five of the seven sectors tracked marked declines. Wholesale sales were down 0.5 per cent to $63 billion in the month - well below economists' forecast of a 0.4 per cent increase. Source
  • Hundreds of KFC outlets in U.K. closed amid chicken shortage

    Economic CTV News
    LONDON -- Chicken is still as scarce as hen's teeth at KFC's British outlets. KFC says about 470 of the fried chicken chain's 900 U.K. restaurants remained closed Tuesday because of a chicken shortage. Source
  • Thomson Reuters CEO expected to make full recovery from heart issue

    Economic CBC News
    Thomson Reuters Corp. said on Tuesday chief executive officer Jim Smith is in stable condition after an arrhythmia incident on Feb. 12 and is expected to be released from hospital within the next two weeks. Last week, the company said Smith was taken to a Toronto hospital after feeling unwell and was under observation at the hospital. Source
  • Hamilton considering legislation to limit number of payday loan outlets

    Economic CTV News
    City of Hamilton councillors are set to vote Tuesday on a motion to limit the number of payday loan outlets in the city, after accusations of "predatory" behaviour from activists. The radial separation legislation before council is aimed at keeping payday loan companies from targeting low-income communities, whose members often turn to the high-interest businesses in desperation, but fall further into debt because of the high interest rates and fees that come with the loans. Source