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Air Transat Accepts Transport Canada Decisions

MIRABEL, Sept. 6/CNW/

'We fully accept and understand the significant fine and precautionary measures ordered by the Minister,' said Denis Jacob, president and chief executive officer, Air Transat, in response to the announcement made today by the Minister of Transport. The precautionary measures apply to Air Transat's twin-engine aircraft itineraries.In making his statement Jacob reiterated that the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigation into Flight TS 236 is not yet completed.

'The safety and security of our passengers remain our top priority and is the raison d'etre of the company and its 2,400 employees. We understand the principle of prudence being exercised by the Canadian authorities and we will adhere to the principle as well as the measures without reservation.

'Jacob also reiterated that the Company had already taken steps and will continue to implement a series of measures, some of which were previously scheduled, to further enhance its maintenance and security performance.

A fine of $250,000 has been imposed on Air Transat for maintenance infractions relating to an improper installation of a hydraulic pump on the Rolls Royce engine and subsequent use of the Airbus A330.While the pump was appropriate, a hydraulic line should have been changed but was not. The exact impact of this on the fuel leak has not been established and the investigation continues. Air Transat management became aware of the incorrect installation when the engine was opened up at the start of the investigation. Air Transat informed Canadian authorities immediately.

The Minister also announced, as a immediate precautionary measure, that Air Transat's Extended Range Twin-Engine Operations (ETOPS) will be limited. This means that all Air Transat flights must be within 90 minutes flying time of suitable en-route airports between the point of departure and arrival versus 120 minutes. Air Transat had the 120 minute ETOPS based on its established track record of air safety.As stated by the Minister this measure is in addition to the current precautionary measures placed on Air Transat's Airbus A330 aircraft which require them to remain within 60 minutes of suitable airports pending the completion of training sessions on extended range flights. Once completed, Airbus330 aircraft will be moved to the 90-minute limit.These precautionary measures do not prevent the operation of Air Transat, its fleet of aircraft or any transatlantic flights. It does mean Air Transat will be flying alternate existing routes. All Air Transat flights are being maintained.

To end further speculation, Air Transat explained that a Rolls Royce Trent 700 engine was installed on an Airbus A330 on August 18/19 at its Mirabel maintenance facility. The installed Rolls Royce engine was not equipped with a specific hydraulic pump and Air Transat had to install a pump from another Rolls Royce Trent 700 engine. During this installation a hydraulic line should have been changed but was not although it was recommended in the manufacturer service bulletin.

About Air Transat
Air Transat specializes in charter flights from several Canadian and European cities to vacation destinations, mainly to the south during the winter months and to Europe and Canada during the summer. Year-round, Air Transat links Canada's principal cities. Air Transat's fleet of 24 aircraft serves 90 destinations in 25 countries. The company employs 2,400. In 2000, Air Transat carried 3.3 million passengers. Air Transat is a subsidiary of Transat A.T. Inc.


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