Air Transat fined after engineers missed training

Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:05pm EDT
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TORONTO, June 23 (Reuters) - Vacation company Transat AT Inc's budget airline, Air Transat, said it will pay a C$150,000 ($122,000) penalty on Tuesday after the Canadian government's transport department found it violated a safety regulation last year.

A short disclosure posted by Transport Canada on its website said the company had authorized six engineers to sign maintenance releases even though they did not have some of the training required. Montreal-based Air Transat said the training that had been missed was not technical.

The workers "signed off for technical work without having updated their mandatory non-technical training, due to procedural shortcomings," the airline in a statement. It said it has taken corrective measures.

"Safety is our top priority and our flight operations are safe. No aircraft has ever been dispatched without being in optimal airworthy condition," Air Transat said.

The case dates from December 2014, but Transport Canada does not make enforcement actions public until cases are closed.

Air Transat offers cheap flights between Canada and vacation destinations such as Cancun and Las Vegas, as well as a number of European cities.

Air Transat noted that it is registered with the International Air Transport Association's Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). The industry-led audit process is voluntary, done in addition to required evaluations. IATA has said that accident rates are lower for IOSA operators than for other airlines.

($1=$1.23 Canadian) (Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Peter Galloway)