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The Montreal native is steering the company away from the vision of its long-time CEO. Can she bring it in for a safe landing?

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Annick Guérard took the controls at Transat in the midst of severe turbulence.Karene isabelle/The Globe and Mail

Aviation has always been a highly romanticized affair, with images of champagne-sipping travellers flying to exotic destinations anchored in a history of daredevil fighter pilots and aggressive entrepreneurs. But when Transat AT CEO Annick Guérard summoned her seven top executives to Montreal’s Monville Hotel on July 12 last year, theirs was a company licking its wounds. Nothing glamorous about it.

In the space of four months, Air Canada had abandoned its takeover of Transat after a two-year effort. Another serious suitor, media mogul Pierre Karl Péladeau, had also given up the chase. After a relentless cash-preservation effort, Transat had won $700 million in emergency aid from the federal government to help it survive the COVID-19 crisis. Days later, Transat’s co-founder and CEO, Jean-Marc Eustache, made his long-awaited exit, leaving Guérard free to set a new course for Transat that discarded much of Eustache’s plans.

Guérard decided her leadership team needed to process what had happened in order to push past it. So the new CEO called for a day of “strategic reflection” in a meeting room on the fringes of Old Montreal. While other companies might have bonded over white-water rafting or paintball, Transat’s executives would participate in a verbal exchange she hoped would cement their renewed collaboration. In the end, they poured their hearts out in an act of corporate catharsis and washed it all down with a glass of wine.

“It was the first time we’d taken time to really breathe since the start of the crisis, and it was all about taking stock of everything we’d been through,” Guérard says. Each executive shared how they’d lived through the recent hardship and how they felt about it. And together, they talked about how to support one another and perform better as a team. Suggestions for things to change even included the vocabulary used internally, like the phrase “senior management.” Guérard hates it. She wants more communication flowing in all directions at Transat, not just top down. “We came out of that day feeling very united, with a very good alignment on our vision for the future of the company and its employees,” Guérard says. “The weight of it isn’t just on one person but on the whole group. It was a defining moment and a very emotional one for me.”

You’d be wrong to peg Guérard’s therapy session as the harebrained scheme of a leadership featherweight. Rather, it’s the natural product of a strong executive looking for the best way forward, someone who’s made a habit of challenging convention. The 51-year-old is the first woman to lead a Canadian airline and part of a super-small group of female aviation CEOs globally. A civil engineer by training, she’s navigated male-dominated workplaces most of her life and climbed ever higher in her career while raising two girls.

Guérard describes herself as optimistic by nature and “hyperactive.” She occasionally swears in French to punctuate her point, and has an automatic reflex to identify problems and find solutions. She can’t go to a restaurant without picking apart its dining room inefficiencies. During a recent trip to the ski hill, she analyzed its ticketing and lift lineup systems, mentally formulating improvements. “None of it was working the way it should, esti!” she says, using a favourite religiously themed expletive.

Canadians have come to think of Transat as a small leisure airline selling affordable seats to sunspots and European holiday destinations. Indeed, it’s the country’s third-biggest carrier after Air Canada and WestJet, and it consistently wins awards for passenger satisfaction. Transat’s strength in the holiday market is one of the main reasons Air Canada sought to buy it.

But carrying passengers wasn’t Transat’s raison d’être. When Eustache co-founded the company in the 1980s, he wanted to build North America’s TUI Group—a vertically integrated mix of tour operators, travel agencies and hotels piecing together tidy travel packages. The company’s early leaders (including Quebec premier François Legault) saw Transat as a trip maker and the airline as merely a tool toward that larger purpose. But the model never really captured the imagination of North American investors. As Eustache once lamented: “They don’t understand an animal like me.” He pressed on, and only a few years ago he was still touting the need to go big on owning hotels in sunspots, where he said the real money was.

Guérard has flipped Transat’s business model on its head. She’s making the airline the focus, not only out of financial necessity but because the company can’t afford to waste time pursuing different strategic directions. Efforts began years ago to fix Transat’s complicated and dysfunctional flying operation, which often didn’t make money even in busy seasons. But things must be simplified further, faster, she says. It will still sell tours and packages, but the bulk of management’s energy will go to getting the air travel part right. The thinking is that a smoothly run machine with a base in Montreal and planes in the air as much as possible will deliver better profit margins overall.

It’s a big bet. And there are as many people rooting for Guérard as there are doubters. By doubling down on Transat as airline, you could argue she’s steering the company harder into the path of larger and better-capitalized rivals. One of the main reasons Transat agreed to the Air Canada takeover was that it recognized its own domestic route network was weak, and Air Canada would bolster it by feeding in passengers. That option is gone now.

Quebec economy minister Pierre Fitzgibbon says he’s comfortable with the company’s trajectory but is tracking it closely. The province has vowed not to let it fail—that it would provide emergency financing if needed after doing due diligence. “The emotional value of the brand is very high in Quebeckers’ minds,” Fitzgibbon says, adding Transat has proven it can perform.

“Transat really is an extraordinary group. They have tremendous expertise,” says Mehran Ebrahimi, an aerospace specialist at the Université du Québec à Montréal. But on all sides, “they’re getting squeezed.”

For 34 tension-filled minutes on March 12, 2020, Quebec’s business media needled Transat’s three top executives in a bid to answer a nagging question: Did the COVID-19 crisis mean Air Canada’s proposed $720-million takeover was in jeopardy? If Transat couldn’t take shelter under the umbrella of its six-times-larger rival, the storm building in global travel would likely pound the company that much harder.

Again and again, Eustache and his lieutenants gave the same answer: Nothing in the pact allowed Air Canada to kill the deal because of a pandemic. Nor had either side expressed any intention to renegotiate despite the planetary health emergency. Clearly exasperated around the half-hour mark, Eustache invited one journalist asking for details about the contract language to “go check with your own lawyers.” Then the CEO got up to leave, declaring sarcastically: “I’d love to answer your questions for a few more hours, but I’ve got a board meeting.”

The surprising surliness was a sign, I thought at the time, of a leader feeling his business collapsing around him. I wondered how long he would hold on to power. In a candid interview three years earlier, Eustache, then nearly 70, had told me he was preparing to hand the controls to Guérard, who’d just been named operations chief. “The old man is good but at one point, he’s too old,” said Eustache, stressing the need for a new generation to take charge.

At the news conference, Guérard was already answering questions meant for Eustache at a hushed but still audible volume, clearly ready for him to step aside. He couldn’t, of course—not with the Air Canada deal on the table. It would take the grey-bearded veteran another 14 months to make his formal exit.

Less than 48 hours after that exchange with reporters, the Canadian government issued an advisory urging citizens to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada. It then announced it would close its borders to foreign nationals. Other governments were doing the same. Suddenly, what had been a trickle of cancellations became a tidal wave.

For Transat, it was a disaster. Unlike other carriers, which have strong domestic travel volumes, it does the vast majority of its flying from Canada to other countries. The company announced a gradual suspension of its flights for about six weeks as it worked to repatriate 65,000 customers from sunspot and European destinations.

It got worse from there. Transat laid off 80% of its staff, or some 4,000 people, as it brought almost its entire operation to a halt. Three weeks later, it announced it would make use of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to recall its staff in preparation for an eventual restart, while senior execs and directors took pay cuts. By the time its trademark blue star was seen in the skies again, the airline had been inactive for nearly four months.

The company went into turtle mode—preserving cash, returning planes it didn’t need to lessors and negotiating with other suppliers to push back payments. Says Guérard: “Suppliers that yelled the most were the ones that we paid. The others, we stretched, stretched, stretched. It was very tough.”

Employees scrambled to provide for their families. Some took jobs in different fields: One pilot swapped his blazer and cap for protective gloves and a hard hat, and went to work cutting trees. Others who missed the camaraderie and rush of being in the air organized simulator flights with each other in real time from their basements.

Doubts also increased about Air Canada’s takeover. The companies first announced in May 2019 they were in talks on a deal, which analysts said was a good way for Air Canada to access Airbus A321 airliners and boost its leisure travel offering against established rivals like WestJet and new foes in Europe like Icelandair and Norwegian.

That fall, Transat announced its board had accepted a revised offer of $5 per share, or $180 million, from Air Canada and secured a new $250-million short-term loan sanctioned by its suitor. Directors said the new deal was still the best prospect for Transat’s continued viability. Less than six months later, it was dead. Canadian regulators approved the pact, but the European Commission worried it would lessen competition on transatlantic routes and effectively killed it. Péladeau was also in the mix, and despite a widespread perception that he wasn’t serious, he hired a team of bankers, advisers and lawyers to help his effort. But his last offer of $5 a share didn’t fly with one of Transat’s biggest shareholders, Montreal investment firm Letko Brosseau.

Meanwhile, the company’s pre-pandemic cash pile of $734 million was shrinking as it burned through an average of $30 million a month. Transat would weather one more lengthy shutdown, suspending operations completely between Jan. 30 and July 29, 2021, after Canada asked airlines to stop flights to the south. In April of that year, it won the $700-million federal bailout package that left it heavily indebted. It would be Eustache’s final act as CEO.

At last count, two institutional shareholders held stakes topping 10% in the publicly traded airline: Letko Brosseau with about 11% and Fonds de solidarité FTQ with 11.5%. The federal government also holds 13 million warrants allowing it to buy shares at $4.50 each, which it negotiated in exchange for the emergency aid. The warrants vest as Transat draws down the loans and the government’s maximum stake is 20% of outstanding shares.

Guérard ran the airline and tour business for three and a half years, slowly reshaping the company to boost its efficiency and profit-making power. A snapshot of the four months before COVID hit shows that by getting more use from Transat’s most efficient jets, she was able to carry more passengers, lower operating costs and improve profit margins by 81% compared to the same period a year earlier.

When Guérard walked into the CEO suite a year ago, employees described it as a breath of fresh air. Finally, many of them said privately. Eustache was hailed for what he’d accomplished at Transat, but many felt he was long past his best-before date. He never had a cellphone or computer, and relied on faxes and executive assistants to relay information.

Guérard brought fresh eyes to the job and a new sensibility. During employee webinars, she urged them to take care of themselves and their families, and take time off if needed, a message seen as empathetic and reassuring. She confesses now that all the adversity took a toll: “Every day there were new parameters that affected our reality. We navigated through a nearly opaque fog for several months. We’d rip up plans we made just two days before. Doing that for a month, fine—crisis management with a beginning and end, we could handle. But over several months? We were exhausted.”

In her first earnings report as CEO last June, Guérard outlined Transat’s worst-ever quarter. Total revenue: near zero. The loss: $103 million. But she also outlined her plan to stabilize and transform the business. The crux of it: Make Transat leaner and meaner by refocusing on its core routes and markets, seek alliances with other carriers to bring in connecting passengers, simplify and rejuvenate the fleet by focusing on two Airbus models, keep employees engaged, and rework the capital structure to lighten the debt load.

As spring takes hold, Guérard is decidedly more upbeat about Transat’s prospects, even if she’s going back to Ottawa for more money. She characterizes the latest unspecified loan request as a kind of insurance that will allow her executive team to avoid more difficult conversations with federal officials later if business conditions deteriorate.

For investors and employees, there are things to be positive about: International travel is coming back. New bookings are surging as consumers with savings and disposable income shift their spending from home improvements and day trips to flights and all-inclusive holidays.

Even with a strong recovery, though, analysts like Cameron Doerksen at National Bank say it will be extremely difficult for Transat to reduce its $1.2-billion burden of debt and lease liabilities to a reasonable level using its own earnings power. That means the company will have to find a longer-term refinancing solution. One scenario would see it sell stock to a willing buyer to generate the funds for deleveraging, which could significantly dilute current shareholders. The company is working with bankers to begin probing who might have an interest in Transat equity, Guérard says, adding: “There’s a lot of wealth in the market right now and an appetite to take part in the airline recovery. We want to be able to take advantage of that window of opportunity.”

Transat’s situation remains sobering. Its financial disclosure contains language warning there’s “material uncertainty” that may cast significant doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern. Difficult contract negotiations with pilots and other major labour groups loom. More broadly, the competitive landscape is only getting worse, with a major threat from a proposed merger between WestJet and Sunwing, and Air Canada announcing its intentions to buy 26 new long-range, single-aisle jets—a move one analyst calls a direct challenge to Transat.

The new CEO says the company has always waged a fierce fight for travellers’ dollars, and points to its strong reputation and brand as assets that bolster its chances. What seems to worry her more is the sheer volatility of global airline travel and its different puts and takes, which were exposed by the pandemic and are being compounded by the war in Ukraine. She says that although younger people are getting back on planes, a certain fear has set in for older travellers.

“At the beginning of this crisis, people said it would be over quickly. But the more time passes, the more the horizon changes,” Guérard says. “And people again are saying it’s over. But we don’t know that. So what we’re trying to do amid this is to act with a prudent optimism. I always repeat that: prudent optimism. Otherwise, you get all excited, you see bookings take off. But it doesn’t take long for reality to catch up.”

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Karene isabelle/The Globe and Mail

Guérard grew up in Montreal Island’s Cartierville neighbourhood, with strict but loving parents of modest means. She played piano and competed in kayak. Her mother was her main influence, chiefly because of her problem-solving skills and resiliency, Guérard says. When her grandparents’ finances were wiped out, Guérard’s mom put aside her dreams of higher education and travel to be the clan’s main breadwinner. She put all her siblings through school and still talks about the sacrifice with pride, not bitterness, Guérard says. She went back to school at age 50.

Guérard’s father and several other family members are engineers, so it wasn’t entirely a surprise when she decided to follow that path herself. She started at Montreal’s École Polytechnique in 1990, just months after Marc Lépine shot and killed 14 women and wounded 10 others in what was long Canada’s biggest mass murder, now recognized as a symbol of societal violence against women.

Her first day on the job after graduation proved how much engineering and construction remained the domain of men. She was hired on a Friday by three male engineers who told her she’d start Monday supervising a new project for the City of Montreal. Over the weekend, she bought new work boots and a helmet. “I had a massive cellphone,” she recalls. “I thought I was such a hotshot with my tape measure attached to my jeans.”

She arrived on site, her car loaded with binders from school outlining the latest building regulations and engineering techniques. There wasn’t a woman to be seen. “Construction, esti.” Her job was to point out things that weren’t up to code. Everyone ignored her. She went home that night soaked with sweat. “I was flipping out,” she says. The next day, she went back with two boxes of doughnuts. Nobody ate them. After a week she changed her approach entirely, focusing on one-on-one interactions. It worked. Suddenly, it was, “Annick, I want to show you something.” Soon guys were inviting her to family events.

“I learned a lot about putting the human before the task,” Guérard says now. “It’s been like that my whole career—coming into a job, men everywhere. It’s all about being interested in people, taking the time to ask about their personal situation, understanding where they’re coming from.”

Eventually Guérard found engineering too homogeneous and yearned for increased responsibility, so she went back to school for an MBA. She landed at Deloitte, doing consulting work that would see her parachuted into companies to improve their operations. Guérard was dispatched to Transat to help improve its aircraft maintenance processes. She shadowed mechanics for weeks in the frigid Montreal winter and saw firsthand their passion for the carrier, which stretches to the tattoos many have of its star logo. She joined the company shortly afterward, moving through several units and doing work on operations, commercialization, marketing, e-commerce and digitalization. Eventually she was put in charge of a Toronto-based division packaging tours to foreigners in Asia and Europe. Management then summoned her back to Montreal with clear instructions: Transform the organization, fix what’s broken and make growth plans for the most profitable pieces of the business. In other words, do what you did with the maintenance guys but on a company-wide scale. “It gave me a complete view of the organization,” she says, “and I became passionate about not only aviation but also the world of travel and tourism more broadly, the benefits it can have for an individual.”

Transat began to seek a successor for Eustache around 2015. Three candidates entered a formal evaluation process shortly after. They were judged on everything from their ability to keep cool under pressure to their communication skills. Guérard was the clear winner, and she hatched a plan with the company to further elevate her skills through mentoring and coaching.

From her promotion to COO in 2017, it should have been a quick and easy path to the CEO suite. It wasn’t, for a variety of reasons, including the Air Canada takeover and COVID-19. Then there was Eustache, who held on with stubborn determination. It was classic entrepreneur syndrome: He’d been in charge since he and his co-founders, Philippe Sureau and Lina De Cesare, parlayed a tiny agency specializing in travel for backpackers into a company with $3 billion in sales. And he couldn’t let go. (He declined to comment for this story.)

If Transat’s board was impatient to see Guérard start as CEO, it didn’t let on. They were also in a prickly position: Asking Eustache to leave would have triggered his involuntary-departure benefits worth $5.5 million at a time when many employees remained out of work and the company cut deeply in all corners of the business.

Guérard officially became CEO on May 27, 2021, and quickly started putting her stamp on the company. She hired former investment banker Patrick Bui as CFO and a new director for France, Benelux, Switzerland and Germany. She reduced Transat’s presence in Western Canada and moved to shore up its clout in Ontario and Quebec with unexpected twists, including a weekly Quebec City-to-Vancouver flight for the late summer and fall, the first time any airline had tried that route.

Young CEOs with big shoes to fill sometimes try too hard to impress their boards, but Guérard has no insecurities and therefore no personal agenda, says Transat director Susan Kudzman. She describes the CEO as grounded and humble, a troop rallier with a good sense of humour. “We have nothing to guess about” in terms of where she’s coming from, Kudzman says. “There’s no time for that in this current environment.”

In the tower that houses Transat headquarters at the base of Mount Royal, a faint alarm is going off at the security desk in the lobby as I make my way into the elevator. The company has shrunk its office space from 12 floors to six, and could shrink more. Eustache’s CEO suite is now a large boardroom, while his successor has installed herself in a smaller space elsewhere. “Offices aren’t really my thing,” Guérard says.

Transat, she says, is playing “extreme catchup” these days. “It’s going well, but there’s a lot of pressure on the organization.” Merging with Air Canada made a lot of sense in terms of creating a stronger player to position itself against international rivals like Air France, KLM and the Gulf State carriers, Guérard says. Airlines are becoming bigger and bigger. But when the deal was abandoned, she says it was liberating, not only because it put the uncertainty surrounding ownership to rest but also because it set the corporation back on course under its own steam.

There were many things Transat couldn’t do as long as the sale to Air Canada remained unresolved. Take technological development: Transat was forced to limit investments in tech during the merger period, mostly because it would’ve been inappropriate to spend on new systems that might be redundant after the takeover. So while Air Canada continued with its tech-related initiatives, Transat put its own on ice. It’s now pushing hard on several projects, including improving the back-end support systems in HR and finance, to make up for lost time.

Guérard’s plan starts with Transat’s bank account: Stabilize the organization in the near term and make sure it has enough money to make it through the next several months with a view to refinancing later on. The company had unrestricted cash and credit worth about $528 million at the end of January, after the Canadian government threw it a lifeline last year. It’s talking with Ottawa on new funding to cover lost business during the latest pandemic wave and to provide more financial firepower as COVID-19 continues to unfold and geopolitical instability grows. The company’s net cash burn in its first quarter was $27 million a month.

“Omicron reminded us that no matter how much we want to put on our rose-coloured glasses and say it’s over, this isn’t over,” Guérard says. “So, there’s that, combined with the uncertainty of the war in Ukraine. And we can’t tell what’s going to happen. There’s too much uncertainty.”'

The game plan also involves a big shift in Transat’s business model and operations. And the key is using the best planes in the best way possible. The company used to have a 48-aircraft fleet made up of four different Airbus and Boeing models, and also rented planes on an ad hoc basis. Trying to balance its vastly different seasonal needs was difficult, and every six months the fleet changed. All of this generally meant higher costs, and it meant pilots would sometimes have to train to fly different types of aircraft from different manufacturers.

Moving forward, Transat plans to have a 36-jet, all-Airbus fleet with two models. Anchoring the lineup is the A321LR, a single-aisle jet with 199 seats and a maximum range of 7,400 kilometres. The A321LRs are more fuel-efficient and produce fewer emissions. They’re also versatile. For years, Transat was a seasonal business: busy in the winter ferrying Canadians to sunnier climates, nearly dormant in the spring, active in the summer on cross-Canada and transatlantic routes, and then down again in the fall. Despite the yo-yo nature of operations, the company was staffed for peak seasons year-round, meaning it sometimes couldn’t cover fixed costs.

Guérard wants to break out of that trap by offering more flights during the shoulder seasons and keeping the A321s in the air longer. While an Airbus A330 is done after one long-haul return trip a day, the A321LR can do two—both because of its range and its short turnaround time. Transat has begun offering red-eye flights south. It’s now able to fly planes more during the week and less on weekends. It’s not adding any new capacity unless it’s profitable and will focus on proven routes where it has a strong market share. That means muscling in on routes to Europe in and out of fortress Montreal, as well as Ontario.

Geographical retrenchment within Canada won’t come without a cost, though. And it means Transat will have to work doubly hard to forge partnerships with other airlines to bring passengers from other cities into its own route network. To that end, Guérard signed a code-share deal with WestJet for transatlantic travel last year and a similar pact with Porter Airlines this past March. It’s also launching what the company bills as Canada’s first web-based interlining service.

Such initiatives are particularly important because they’re a way for Transat to attract more customers and widen its own 60-destination network by linking to the networks of its partners, offering clients more travel options. In typical code-share deals, each carrier can sell tickets under its own name for travel on a partner’s flights. Passengers buy a single ticket and check their baggage just once. The interlining service, meanwhile, lets customers book flights pairing travel on Transat with those of four partner airlines—easyJet, Avianca, Pascan and Vueling—so they can fly to more destinations.

“One thing that’s certain is Transat can’t continue on its own,” Guérard says. That’s why she’s looking at striking additional partnerships, which could extend to more formal joint-venture alliances like the pact between Delta, Virgin Atlantic and Air France-KLM. In a joint venture, there’s an even higher degree of co-operation between the carriers and a revenue-sharing scheme designed with the good of the collective in mind. Transat is also “completely open” to formal proposals from another merger partner, Guérard says.

Analysts like Kevin Chiang at CIBC have raised doubts about Transat’s airline-centric strategy, saying it calls into question its positioning within the Canadian airline sector. But Guérard shrugs off suggestions Transat is flying more squarely into the path of its rivals. “Air Canada has seen us as a competitor since the dawn of time. They’re asking themselves why we still exist,” she says.

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Transat has survived because of the commitment of its employees, she says. It’s a corporate culture that’s close-knit and entrepreneurial. Even with a business model full of inefficiencies, the CEO says it found original ways of doing things to make money and carve out niche markets no one was serving, forging relationships in the process with Portuguese, Greek, Italian and Haitian communities in Toronto and Montreal. Now, she says it’s time to bury those inefficiencies for good.

But where Guérard sees creative strength, those on the outside say there’s a limit to how far that can carry the company. There are some “crazy things happening” in the industry that will be a challenge in the months ahead, says John Gradek, a former Air Canada executive who now teaches aviation leadership at McGill University. WestJet’s deal to take over Sunwing marks a new push into the airline business for Toronto-based investment firm Onex Corp. and allows WestJet to tap Sunwing’s experience in leisure travel. New carriers like Flair and Lynx are starting up. The price of jet fuel is climbing fast. Meanwhile, Air Canada just announced it has put in an order for 26 Airbus A321neo extra-long-range jets, the first of which should join its fleet in the first quarter of 2024.

Air Canada’s move is a direct threat to Transat, Gradek says. A big reason it initially wanted to buy its smaller rival was to absorb its narrow-body Airbus fleet and get its delivery slots for new planes at a time when pilots and planes were in tight supply. Now Air Canada is moving to obtain what are largely the same planes, and Gradek expects it to challenge Transat directly on secondary markets that have become its niche, like Montreal-Toulouse and Montreal-Basel. Transat’s okay until the new jets come online, Gradek says. After that, “they’ve got to pull another rabbit out of the hat.”

Guérard says she’s taking nothing for granted. She recently obtained about 20 months’ breathing room from Ottawa on a scheduled interest rate increase for its loan package. Now she’s asking for another unspecified amount from Ottawa as an emergency backstop. There’s no certainty she’ll get it, but she’s hopeful. Meanwhile, the cost-cutting and cash preservation efforts continue, including with suppliers. “For sure, we can’t stretch that elastic forever,” the CEO says. “I mean, in some cases, we stretched it too strongly already.”

History shows there will likely be more surprises and false starts before Transat recovers. The company’s trip sales were climbing nicely this past fall before Omicron hit. Almost overnight, bookings collapsed. At last count they were ticking up again, hitting 87% of 2019 levels through the first 10 weeks of the year. Transat is planning a summer at 91% of pre-pandemic capacity but providing no financial outlook for the months ahead. The company expects to employ about 10% fewer people than it did in 2019 when it gets back to pre-COVID business volumes. It’s working toward being cashflow positive again next year. “I’m 100% convinced we’ll make it, and I don’t think I’m being naive,” Guérard says. “We know what we have to do.”

Guérard says she’s energized every morning by what Transat has established and what it can still become. She says she wants every employee to have that same feeling in their gut. “I love coming to work,” she says. “I LOVE IT. I get up in the morning, Esti, j’ai hâte de venir.”

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