Canadian charter airlines are boosting their long-haul fleets for their 1997 summer season as the Canada-Europe holiday market continues to grow.

SkyService, which began holiday-charter flights in 1994 with leased Airbus Industrie A320s, will become the first North American operator of the Airbus A330 when it receives a Pratt & Whitney PW4000-powered ex-LTU A330-300 leased from International Lease Finance. The 363-seater will arrive in May on a 42-month lease, for services between Athens, in Greece, Barcelona, in Spain, Italy and Toronto, Canada.

Royal Airlines has concluded the lease of two 265-seat General Electric CF6-80-powered Airbus A310-300s from GE Capital. The aircraft, due for delivery in May and June, will be operated to European destinations alongside the carrier's Lockheed L-1011 TriStars from Montreal and Toronto .

Meanwhile, Air Transat is introducing non-stop transatlantic charter flights with its two newly acquired ex-TAP TriStar 500s, while Canada 3000 will take its first leased A330-200s in 1998.

Air Transat has been shaken by the sudden departure of its co-founder and chief executive Francois Legault, who was also executive vice-president of Air Transat's parent company Transat AT. Philippe Sereau, Transat AT executive vice-president, will take over Legault's duties.

Source: Flight International