Transat A.T. laying off 78 employees, closing Toronto call centre

MONTREAL – Transat A.T. is eliminating 78 jobs as it closes its Toronto call centre and reorganizes some of its tour activities in a bid to improve profitability.

The Montreal-based company, which operates Air Transat, said 66 positions will be eliminated when the Toronto call centre closes Sept. 12.

Meanwhile, 63 jobs at its cruise call centre in Montreal will be converted to “hybrid” positions that will respond to calls about various vacation packages from consumers, travel agents and businesses.

Transat said its new cruise offering will focus on the sale of packages including flights, transfers and cruises, while customers wanting to purchase just a cruise alone can do so from a Transat travel agent.

Transat is also ending its Discoveries Collection tours in South America, Asia and Africa as it launches a new guided tour program in Europe and sun destinations for 2017.

The change will result in the elimination of 12 non-unionized sales and marketing positions in Montreal.

“From now on, the company will focus on destinations served by Air Transat flights,” said spokeswoman Debbie Cabana.

Transat (TSX:TRZ) recently announced that Germany’s TUI AG had made a firm offer to purchase its Transat France and Tourgreece tour businesses, worth about $80.3 million.

Transat A.T. operates an integrated travel business that includes flights on its Air Transat airline and vacation packages in North America, Europe and other areas.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story: A previous version said Transat would not longer sell cruises separately