The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) blamed Air Transat on Thursday afternoon for the incident that grounded two of its aircraft at the Ottawa airport last summer. He fined the airline $ 295,000.
The company will also have to compensate the passengers for the expenses incurred by the delay.
According to the Agency, it did not respect its tariff, that is to say the contract which binds it to the passengers. She would also have given too much power to the pilots and dropped her passengers.
The “sincere apologies” of Air Transat
In a press release, Air Transat indicated that it would comply with the CTA’s requests. It will offer $ 500 to each of the injured passengers, as proposed by the CTA, which will reduce the amount of the fine.
In an interview on the 24/60 broadcast , the company’s president and chief executive officer, Jean-François Lemay, also assured that the $ 500 would go to the passengers of the four planes (two other planes were also delayed because of the weather).
“So we go beyond the demands of the CTA,” he said. He estimates the amount of the benefits at more than $ 600,000, in addition to the expenses of passengers that Air Transat will also have to reimburse. Mr. Lemay said he has no estimate of how much.
He advises injured passengers to contact the company’s customer service to obtain the $ 500.
The airline is also committing to modify its tariff – the OTC asks, among other things, to add an obligation to disembark passengers if a delay exceeds four hours. Air Transat says it will also ensure that its staff is properly trained.
This CTO report follows the investigation into the delay of two Air Transat flights on July 31, 2017 on the tarmac at Ottawa International Airport.
The CTA had been seized to answer the following two questions: Did Air Transat apply its tariff correctly during these incidents? Are the applicable provisions of the Air Transat Tariff reasonable?
Last July 31, the TS157 and TS507 flights remained for several hours on the tarmac.
The planes arrived from Brussels and Rome respectively to Montreal and were diverted to Ottawa because of bad weather.
Hundreds of passengers were confined to appliances without water and without food. Without electricity and air conditioning, some had called 911. Many were complaining that they had not received explanations from the air carrier.
“It’s really good, it gives the impression that our government is really doing something for us,” responded Kim Leclerc-Desaulniers, TS507 flight passenger. “When it happened, Air Transat and the Ottawa airport hit the ball a lot and it looks as if the customers who were hurt in there, who were hijacked in there, were forgotten. Me, that’s what made me angry. ”
TS 157 passengers’ Facebook group also welcomed the CTA’s decision and thanked the Agency for its investigation.
They also pointed out three malfunctions on the side of the company. They point out that the air conditioning of “TS 157 flight was mostly failing” and that the company knew it.
“The investigation highlights that Air Transat has chosen not to take adequate measures to ensure the well-being of its passengers. This responsibility lies with him, “write the passengers.
“In its tariff, Air Transat undertakes to disembark the passengers in case of waiting longer than 90 minutes. The investigation shows that the crews were not informed or let alone trained on the implementation of such commitments, “they continue.
Finally, they are calling for Canadian legislation to protect passengers “against the risk and the implications of negligent airline behavior during unplanned delays”.