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

  • Deciphering Trump's curious comments on Keystone XL pipeline

    Economic CBC News
    In his nearly hour-long speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday morning, U.S. President Trump talked about a lot of things — the media, Obamacare, trade and crime. But he also ventured into pipelines. Source
  • Ontario police looking for 'large quantity' of stolen cheese

    Economic CTV News
    SOUTH WEST OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Ont. - Police in southwestern Ontario are looking for thieves who made off with a lot of cheese. Ontario Provincial Police say the Village Cheese Mill in South West Oxford Township, east of London, Ont. Source
  • Stock prices slide lower despite large profits at big banks

    Economic CBC News
    Canada's benchmark stock index is on track for its worst day of the year as oil prices are lower and financial firms are selling off despite record earnings at some of Canada's biggest banks. The S&P/TSX composite index was off by 260 points to 15,520 in the afternoon. Source
  • TSX tumbles 247 points despite big profits at big banks

    Economic CBC News
    Canada's benchmark stock index is on track for its worst day of the year as oil prices are lower and financial firms are selling off despite record earnings at some of Canada's biggest banks. The S&P/TSX composite index was off by 260 points to 15,520 in the afternoon. Source
  • 'Baycott': Why 'Peeved Beavers' are upset by Ivanka Trump's brand at the Bay

    Economic CTV News
    Armed with distinctive blonde wigs, pursed lips and red power ties, a group of Ontario women are planning to dress up as U.S. President Donald Trump to protest the Hudson’s Bay Co. for carrying Ivanka Trump’s fashion line during two demonstrations in the Toronto area planned for Saturday. Source
  • Nova Scotia tourism sees third consecutive year of growth

    Economic CTV News
    HALIFAX - Nova Scotia says the province's tourism industry continued a steady upswing in fortunes in 2016. It says 2.2 million visitors came to the province -- that's up eight per cent, or about 170,000 more visitors, than in 2015. Source
  • Husky may sell some of its assets in N.L. offshore oil industry: sources

    Economic CBC News
    Canadian oil and gas producer Husky Energy Inc is weighing paring down its stakes in some of its Eastern Canadian offshore assets, in a move that could fetch as much as several billion dollars, people familiar with the talks have told the Reuters news service. Source
  • Cleanup of oil spill in Sask. cost $107M, Husky Energy says

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Husky Energy says efforts to clean up a major oil pipeline spill last year in Saskatchewan have cost $107 million. About 90,000 litres of heavy crude and diluent leaked into the North Saskatchewan River last July, jeopardizing drinking water supplies for thousands of people downstream. Source
  • Ottawa's deficit hits $14B through first nine months of fiscal year

    Economic CBC News
    The federal government ran a budgetary shortfall of $14 billion over the first nine months of the fiscal year, compared with a $3.2-billion surplus over the same period a year earlier. The Finance Department's monthly fiscal monitor says federal program expenses between April and December rose $16.7 billion, or 8.8 per cent, compared with the same stretch a year ago. Source
  • Uniqlo's new modest line featuring hijabs debuts in Toronto

    Economic CTV News
    A modest-style clothing collection that features hijabs and abayas is making its debut at Canada’s two Uniqlo clothing stores. The clothing collection is by U.K.-born fashion designer Hana Tajima and features 30 items in 81 colours and patterns. Source