Air Transat has operated its first passenger flights in six months, with president and CEO saying that the carrier was “thrilled to finally reunite with our travellers”.

Canada’s third largest airline suspended flights back in February of this year, following the government’s introduction of strict new arrivals rules.

Initially the carrier had planned to resume service at the end of April, but suspensions remained in place until July 30, when flights took off from Montreal to Punta Cana and Vancouver.

Air Transat said that at the height of this summer season it will offer 24 routes to 16 destinations, including domestic services between Calgary, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and Vancouver. Direct flights between Quebec City and Vancouver will mark a first for the airline.

Further afield the carrier will fly from Toronto to the European destinations of London and Porto, as well as Holguin and Varadero (Cuba), Punta Cana, Cancun, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

When Business Traveller checked, the first flights between Toronto and London were scheduled for September 15, with a three times weekly service departing the Canadian city on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

Meanwhile from Montreal Air Transat will offer routes to Paris and Lisbon in Europe, as well as Holguin, Varadero, Punta Cana, Cancun, Port-au-Prince, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

A turbulent 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic was capped by the collapse of a proposed merger with Air Canada in April, following concerns over approval for the deal by the European Commission.

Commenting on the resumption of flights Annick Guérard, president and CEO of Transat, said:

“It is with great joy and excitement that we return to the skies after these long months of suspension. We are thrilled to finally reunite with our travellers and allow them to reconnect with their favourite destinations through our world-renowned travel experience.

“In preparation for our return, our teams have been working hard to ensure the safety of travellers and facilitate their planning by continuously adjusting our Traveller Care health and safety programme and our practical guide on travel requirements.”

Last month Air Canada outlined plans to rebuild its route network to the US, with a summer schedule that includes 55 routes to 34 destinations.

Air Canada to rebuild US route network