Air Transat Flight Dispatchers: Unanimous Vote for Strike Action

An Air Transat Airbus about to land.
RHL Images from England, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Air Transat’s flight dispatchers, represented by the Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association (CALDA), have delivered a strong message to the airline.

The collective has voted unanimously in favor of a strike mandate. This decision comes after unsuccessful conciliation talks facilitated by the federal government.

The talks concluded on April 2nd, 2024, and the mandatory 21-day cooling-off period ended on April 23rd.

Frustration with Lack of Progress in Negotiations

The 28 Montreal-based Air Transat flight dispatchers are frustrated with the lack of progress in negotiations.

Their collective agreement expired on October 31st, 2022, and they are seeking a new contract that reflects their crucial role.

“We’ve been very patient in trying to reach a new agreement with Air Transat,” said Rob King, National President of CALDA.

“Our flight dispatchers are highly trained professionals who deserve a contract that recognizes their significant responsibilities, accountability, and liability.”

Close-up of an Air Transat aircraft fuselage and tail.
Photo Credit: Air Transat

Beyond Flight Planning: The Vital Role of Dispatchers

Flight dispatchers, licensed by Transport Canada, play an essential role in every flight. They go beyond simply preparing flight plans. Their duties include:

  • Fuel planning and loading
  • Monitoring aircraft systems and weather conditions
  • Managing in-flight emergencies
  • Working collaboratively with the pilot-in-command to ensure safe and efficient flight operations

Air Transat flight dispatchers share responsibility for flight watch and operational control with the pilot-in-command.

They continuously exchange crucial information to guarantee the utmost safety for every flight. No Air Transat aircraft can depart without a flight plan approved by a dispatcher.

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Air Transat Operations

Air Transat is a leading Canadian airline headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1986, they specialize in providing vacation experiences through scheduled and charter flights.

The carrier recently reported a robust revenue growth of 17.7% year-over-year for the first quarter of 2024. The carrier reaped $785.5 million compared to $667.5 million in the same period last year.

Despite the positive revenue growth, Air Transat faced challenges stemming from speculation surrounding a potential strike by flight attendants. This unrest previously began in November of the previous year.

Here’s a quick rundown on what Air Transat offers:

  • Destinations: Air Transat flies to over 60 destinations in 25 countries, including popular vacation spots in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, South America, and Europe.
  • Fleet: Their fleet consists of 36 aircraft, offering comfortable seating options in both Economy and Club Class (their version of Business Class).
  • Seasonal Focus: During the winter months, they cater to travelers seeking sun with flights to warm destinations in the south. In the summer, they switch gears and offer flights to various European locations. However, they also have year-round flights to many destinations, especially from their main hubs in Toronto and Montreal.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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