26 APR 2013: Air Transat cut 47 positions Thursday in an administrative restructuring, part of its three-year plan to restore profitability amid increased competition. Additionally they announced that effective immediately, Jean-Fran´┐Żois Lemay has been appointed general manager, Air Transat, and will run the airline when Allen Graham, president of Air Transat, retires on June 30, this year.

Lemay will occupy the position concurrently with his duties as Transat’s vice-president, Human Resources and Talent Management. A long-time Transat colleague, he joined the company’s senior management team in October 2011.

Lemay has worked closely with Graham and negotiated union contracts.

"He's really the one who was working with our unions and he knows the company inside out," said spokeswoman Debbie Cabana.

“With this move, our structure will be better adapted to face the challenges of tomorrow,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, president and chief executive officer of Transat A.T. Inc., explaining that the changes are part of the company’s three-year plan to return to profitability announced in 2011.

As of July, Eustache will also assume the title of Air Transat president.

Transat A.T. said 39 mostly non-union administrative staff lost their jobs while the remaining positions were vacant. Thirty-two people cut were in Montreal, six in Toronto and one in Vancouver.

The cuts did not involve flight attendants, pilots or mechanics who recently agreed to concessions.

"The restructuring that is announced today involves mainly administrative positions that have not been affected thus far," spokeswoman Debbie Cabana said.

Transat said none of the planned initiatives implies any reduction in services to customers..

The company plans to increase pre-tax operating earnings by $50 million.

Among the changes, it is operating its own fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft after ending its subcontract with Canjet. It is also reducing the number of widebody aircraft in its fleet.

The reorganization is part of Transat's effort to cut costs by running all the human resources, financial and IT functions out of its headquarters.

"It was already partially integrated to Transat, we're now just completing the process but it's something that we've been doing a long time," said Cabana in an interview.

The job cuts were the first since Transat eliminated 143 positions in October 2011. Transat employs 6,000 workers, including 2,125 at the airline.

The annual cost savings expected are $4 million.


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Jen Savedra

Jen Savedra is the founder and editor of Travel Industry Today with  a long career and considerable experience in various sectors of travel and tourism. She is dedicated to producing a publication that differentiates itself from the pack. One that pulls no punches, and - along with being a forum for news and ideas - is easy to navigate and always fun to read.

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