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Edited Transcript of TRZ.TO earnings conference call or presentation 14-Mar-19 2:00pm GMT

Q1 2019 Transat AT Inc Earnings Call

Montreal Mar 20, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Transat AT Inc earnings conference call or presentation Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 2:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Annick Guérard

Transat A.T. Inc. - COO

* Christophe Hennebelle

Transat A.T. Inc. - VP of HR & Public Affairs

* Denis Pétrin

Transat A.T. Inc. - VP of Finance & Administration and CFO

* Jean-Marc Eustache

Transat A.T. Inc. - Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board, President & CEO

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Conference Call Participants

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* Benoit Poirier

Desjardins Securities Inc., Research Division - VP and Industrials, Transportation, Aerospace, Industrial Products & Special Situation Analyst

* Cameron Doerksen

National Bank Financial, Inc., Research Division - Analyst

* Turan Quettawala

Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, Research Division - Director, Transportation and Aerospace, Equity Research

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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(foreign language) Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Transat conference call. (foreign language) As a reminder, this conference is recorded, Thursday, March 14, 2019. (foreign language) I would now like to turn the meeting over to Mr. Christophe Hennebelle, Vice President, Corporate Affairs. (foreign language) Please go ahead, sir

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Christophe Hennebelle, Transat A.T. Inc. - VP of HR & Public Affairs [2]

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Thank you. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Transat conference call for the presentation of the financial results of the first quarter ended January 31, 2019. I am here with John-Marc Eustache, President and CEO; Annick Guerard, COO; and Denis Petrin, our CFO. Denis will review the financial results, and we will then answer questions from financial analysts. Questions from journalists will be handled off-line.

The conference call will be in English but questions may be asked in French or English. As usual, our investors presentation has been updated and is posted on our website in the Investors section. Denis may refer to it as he comments.

Today's call contains forward-looking statements. There are risks that actual results will differ materially from those contemplated by those forward-looking statements. For additional information on such risks, please consult our filings with the Canadian securities commission.

Forward-looking statements represent Transat's expectations as at March 14, 2019, and accordingly, are subject to change after such date. However, we disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by law.

Finally, we may refer to IFRS or non-IFRS financial measures. In addition to IFRS financial measures, we are using non-IFRS measures to assess the corporation's operational performance. It is likely that the non-IFRS financial measures used by the corporation will not be comparable to similar measures reported by other issuers or those used by financial analysts as their measures may have different definitions.

The measures used by the corporation are intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for IFRS financial performance measures. Additional information on non-IFRS financial measures, such as their definition and their reconciliation with the more comparable IFRS measures, are available in our annual report.

With that, let me turn the call over to Denis.

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Denis Pétrin, Transat A.T. Inc. - VP of Finance & Administration and CFO [3]

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Thank you, Christophe. Good morning, everyone. We are reporting today our numbers for the first quarter for which the results are primarily driven by the Sun destination market. As usual, I will review the financial results and then share our outlook for the rest of the year.

But first, I will need to say a few words on the adoption of 2 new accounting standards and the impact on comparative numbers. The corporation adopted IFRS 9 financial extreme and IFRS 16 revenue from contracts with customers on November 1, 2018, and restated the 2018 figures. The main changes are described in the Note 3 of our financial statement.

Here are the most important ones. On our statement of income, revenue and related cost from the land portion of holiday packages, which includes hotel services, are now recognized when the corresponding services are rendered over the course of the stay. Prior to the adoption of IFRS 15, revenue was recognized when passengers departed.

Revenue from travel agencies commission is recognized when passengers depart. Prior to the adoption, revenue was recognized at the time of booking. All airport taxes are now reported on a net basis. Prior to the adoption, revenue from certain airport taxes was reported gross and the corresponding expense was recorded.

The impact for the period ended January 31, 2018, consisted in a $46 million decrease in revenue and corresponding cost. Certain additional cost incurred to earn income from air transportation services, such as costs related to the worldwide distribution system and credit card fees, are now capitalized at the time of booking and expensed when revenue is recognized.

Prior to the adoption of IFRS 15, some costs were expensed at the time of booking. On our statement of financial position. As at January 31, 2018, comparable numbers, the main impacts are a $16 million increase in prepaid expenses, a $28 million decrease in trade and other payables, a $38 million increase in customer deposit and a $4 million increase in retained earnings.

The adoption of IFRS 15 led to a modification of [how the guidance] of cash and cash equivalent, interest or otherwise reserve is calculated from November 1, 2018, onwards. As at January 31, 2019, the impact of this change is a $33 million increase in cash interest and an equivalent decrease in our free cash position. The impact of this change is greater as at January 31 because, at that time, we are at the peak of our activity for our Sun destination program, and the same will apply at July 31, which will be middle of the summer season.

It should be less significant for the other quarter of the year, mainly the end of April and year-end, which is October. (inaudible) for information, the adoption of IFRS 16 on leases will be in a year from now so, in the first quarter, that this new standard will apply will be January 31, 2020.

For Q1, result were as follow for all markets combined as compared to last year. Revenue stood at $648 million, similar to those of last year. We posted an adjusted operating loss of $38 million versus $29 million last year. The adjusted net loss was $36 million compared to $32 million in 2018, and the net losses for financial statement was $49 million compared to $3 million last year mainly due to a $31 million gain on disposal of Jonview recorded in Q1 '18 and a negative variance of $14 million on fuel derivative stemming from variation on fuel pricing -- fuel prices during the quarter.

The result of our first quarter include costs related to the implementation of some of the initiatives of our strategic plan. As you know, our aircraft fleet will be transformed following the arrival of the new Airbus A321 long range.

Meanwhile, additional costs during the transition are being incurred. On lease cost first, by having a higher number of aircraft type and a higher number of aircraft; and on flight crews, mainly maintaining a higher number of pilot and incurring additional training cost. Second, first one to the acquisition of the land in Mexico, costs are also being incurred for the development of our hotel division.

On our Sun destination program, main market during the winter, capacity was 2.7% higher, selling prices of our packages were 2.8% higher, and our load factor was similar. The impact of higher fuel cost combined with the lower Canadian dollar was a 3.8% increase in operating cost.

Therefore, we noted a decrease in profitability, as margin were 4.9% lower versus last year. On our transatlantic route, which is a low season for leisure travelers, our capacity was 6% lower. Selling prices were down 1.4%. Our load factor was up 5.8%. However, our costs were higher, which resulted in a decrease in profitability compared to 2018.

Now for Q2 outlook. On the Sun destination, when compared with the winter of 2018, global capacity on the market is 12% higher. Transat capacity is up 2%.

Currently, 82% of our capacity has been sold. Bookings are up 0.6% and load factor are up 3.1%. The combined effect of U.S. fluctuation and fuel cost was result in a 2.7% increase in operating expenses if all indicators remain stable. And taking all those metrics into account, unit margin are 1.1% lower than last year.

On the transatlantic market, we're at the low season. 75% of the capacity has been sold. Load factor are up 7% and prices are 3% lower than those of last year.

Considering those factor and if current trends remain, the adjusted operating income of the second quarter could be lower than the restated adjusted operating income of 2018, which stood at $12.1 million. Before restatement, the adjusted operating income of '18 was $6.6 million in Q2 '18.

With regard to the summer '19 outlook, the transatlantic market, again when compared with summer '18 at the same date, global capacity on the market is 8% higher. Transat capacity is up 3.5% at the peak of the season and equal or down at the beginning and at the end.

Globally, our capacity is up 1%. Currently, 33% of our capacity has been sold. Booking are up 9%, while load factor are up 2.4%. Fare are lower by 2.2%. The combined effect of fuel cost and U.S. dollar, euro and the pound fluctuation does not currently result in any increase in operating expenses.

Globally, unit margin are similar to those of last year at the same date. Beyond these first trends, it is still too soon to draw conclusion about the summer 2019 outlook.

Now for the balance sheet. The corporation free cash total $620 million as at January 31, 2019, a decrease of $129 million versus a year ago is mainly due to the development of our hotel chain. In the fourth quarter of '18 and in the first quarter of '19, the corporation acquired 2 adjacent parcel of land to be combined into 1 in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, for a total of $76 million.

Also due to the adoption of IFRS 15 that led to a modification on all the balance of cash interest as calculated from November 1, 2018, this impact is an increase of $33 million of the amount to be kept in trust as at January 31, which represent, as I said at the beginning, the peak of the winter season and where the impact will be at its maximum.

Finally, due to commissioning cost on aircraft added to our fleet during the last 12 months for a total of $20 million, for which a portion will be recovered during the year. Our credit facility, obviously, remain unused. The deposits for future travel were $753 million compared with $675 million at the same date last year all due to increase in reservations for Q2 also for the summer period.

Off balance sheet agreements stood at $2.5 billion as of January 31, same then the amount that we had at year-end. IFRS 16 will start to be applied in Q1 2020, again, like I said in the introduction.

In conclusion, for Q1 '19, revenues remained stable. For the entire Sun destination market, the numbers of travelers have increased by 3.5%. We have recorded an increase in our flight-only sales and a decrease in our packages sales, which, once combined, has resulted in almost no change in total revenue.

However, higher average selling prices of packages, 2.8%, could not compensate the increase in fuel prices combined with the weakening of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar as well as additional cost incurred for the transition and optimization of our fleet, causing an increase in operating -- in our operating loss compared with Q1 '18.

We continue to progress in our strategic initiatives, even if they have -- they are not yet helping our results and sometime even requiring immediate investment. So information of our fleet is on its way with the arrival of the 2 first Airbus A321neo long range at the end of April and in June.

In the very short term, though, the preparation for these changes have contributed to drive our airline cost up this quarter. Our revenue management and network planning capability are quickly improving. We are on track with our cost reduction and margin improvement initiatives.

And finally, we have purchased our second parcel of land in Mexico, an important milestone on the path to our hotel division. We have also incurred some cost on that front, even though they have still been limited. We are, therefore, confident in our ability to deliver on our objectives of our strategic plan in the year to come.

We will now open -- proceed with your questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(foreign language) (Operator Instructions) (foreign language) Benoit Poirier, Desjardins Securities.

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Benoit Poirier, Desjardins Securities Inc., Research Division - VP and Industrials, Transportation, Aerospace, Industrial Products & Special Situation Analyst [2]

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My first question is for the summer outlook. I understand it's still early but looking at your comment, it seems that the outlook for this summer on the transatlantic market is weaker than expected. I was wondering if you could provide some color about the current trends you're seeing in terms of pricing and also what are your expectation in terms of yield management, whether we should -- you expect some positive or negative contribution coming from the yield management.

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Annick Guérard, Transat A.T. Inc. - COO [3]

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This is Annick. As Denis stated, the overall market capacity is up by 8%. Our capacity is up by 2%, 3% for the upcoming summer. We have about a little more than 33% of that capacity that have been sold so far. Our load factors are in advance, and we're talking about the pricing, which is improving week after week in terms of difference in variances versus last year. So we started the season pricing very low, which was part of our strategy, and week after week, these pricing differences with last year is improving. So we are confident that, overall, in terms of the yield capabilities, we're going to be able to meet our target. Of course, we're looking -- as we work on the pricing, we are looking at the cost effect as well, fuel cost, operational costs as well that we need to take into consideration. We will be able to benefit from the target upcoming summer from the 2 new A321neo long range that will be integrated within our fleet, so that's going to help us as well. We are working very closely as well heartily on the insular revenues. As you know, we introduced this year a new base fare with -- which does not include any baggage. So this, we count on this as well to bring our revenues up as people will either buy a family fare that is higher or will buy baggage on the side. So at this point, I would say that we are confident seeing the trend over the last weeks that we are going to be able to perform a decent summer.

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Benoit Poirier, Desjardins Securities Inc., Research Division - VP and Industrials, Transportation, Aerospace, Industrial Products & Special Situation Analyst [4]

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Okay. And would it be possible to give us an update on the hotel, the progress around the hotel strategy, how it's progressing versus the initial time line provided at the Investor Day? And what are kind of the next milestone for -- specifically for the hotel strategy?

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Jean-Marc Eustache, Transat A.T. Inc. - Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board, President & CEO [5]

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Jean-Marc speaking. So the hotel is going well. We almost finished the plan and also the budget for the construction. We are looking right now to hire construction firms to do the construction, and we should start the construction at the end of June, beginning of July of the first hotel in Puerto Morelos land. And right now, we're negotiating one land in -- another land in Riviera Maya and one land in Punta Cana. So -- and the last thing we're missing right now, we're still waiting for one permit to start the construction in Puerto Morelos. So it's going as it should be. And in the same time, we're having discussions with the existing hotels, especially one that we could buy eventually right away and couldn't bring revenues right now. We're negotiating also 2 or 3 management contract. And we should have the name of the hotels, the names, I will say before the next conference call, so before June. So it's going as was planning, and we hired people working on the finance, we -- construction that they're going to look at with -- for the company, the construction. And also, we want to see different suppliers for different things like tiles and things like that, so it's going as it's supposed to go.

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Benoit Poirier, Desjardins Securities Inc., Research Division - VP and Industrials, Transportation, Aerospace, Industrial Products & Special Situation Analyst [6]

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Okay. And looking at the -- some of your competitors, there's a desire for Thomas Cook to sell -- they are looking to sell the airline business. I was wondering if there was -- have you looked -- have you considered this option, Jean-Marc? And is it kind of a potential avenue for Transat at this point?

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Jean-Marc Eustache, Transat A.T. Inc. - Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board, President & CEO [7]

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Anyway, it's not for me. I don't think it's -- it would be a good idea to sell the airline because you need the airline to bring the customer to the hotel business. And especially at the beginning because, at the beginning, you don't have all the customers, so you need to bring more Canadian to the hotel at -- when you start the hotel business. So no, we need the airline. And I'm not sure that Thomas Cook want to sell completely all the airline. It's not clear because we are in discussion with Thomas Cook all the time, especially when we heard about that, and because, as you know, we have 10 planes of Thomas Cook, and we have an agreement for 7 years. So we have discussion with that, so I'm not sure if they want to sell. All the airlines, as you know, they have the airline in Germany, Condor, they have the airline in Scandinavia, the airline in Great Britain and not sure that it's been like that for them. And for us right now, there's no reason to sell the airline, no.

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Benoit Poirier, Desjardins Securities Inc., Research Division - VP and Industrials, Transportation, Aerospace, Industrial Products & Special Situation Analyst [8]

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Okay. And looking at the Boeing 737 Max, the plane has been grounded by some of your competitors. I think there's about 36 plane from 3 of your competitors. Do you expect some potential benefit as you are not involved with this plane at this time?

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Jean-Marc Eustache, Transat A.T. Inc. - Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board, President & CEO [9]

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First thing I would say that as -- if I'm talking at the airlines -- on the airline side, we're sad. We never like something like that to happen, and we are really close to our competitor about that. It's terrible what happened. So number one, we have a lot of sympathy and things like that. Number two, if our competitor needs us and if it's possible to help them at one point to take some passenger on our plane or things like that, we will do it for sure. And I'm sure that if it will happen to us, they would do the same thing, number two. And, number three, we'll see the future. How long they're going to ground this plane, how long this going to happen, how they're going to manage that. It's a huge problem, so we don't know at all what will happen on that things right now.

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Benoit Poirier, Desjardins Securities Inc., Research Division - VP and Industrials, Transportation, Aerospace, Industrial Products & Special Situation Analyst [10]

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Okay. And any update for the role of President of Air Transat to replace Jean-Francois Lemay, Jean-Marc?

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Jean-Marc Eustache, Transat A.T. Inc. - Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board, President & CEO [11]

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We are in the final decision to -- for a final candidate. And like I told you before and like maybe Jean-Francois told you, Jean-Francois is with us until we need it. There's no problem at all. He's still running the airline, doing a good job. He has a good thing, and when it will be the time, Jean-Francois will go and the new person will come. So there's no hurry. Everything is on track, and when it will be the time, we will announce which person, what is the name of the person and when the person will come. In the meantime, the CEO is Jean-Francois Lemay, and he's working very close with his boss (inaudible), the COO of the company.

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Benoit Poirier, Desjardins Securities Inc., Research Division - VP and Industrials, Transportation, Aerospace, Industrial Products & Special Situation Analyst [12]

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Okay, and last one for me maybe more for Denis, but in terms of excess cash available went down to $335 million at the end of Q1. Given based on the outlook that you're providing for Q2 and the second half, where would you expect the surplus cash to be at year-end? Any rough idea?

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Denis Pétrin, Transat A.T. Inc. - VP of Finance & Administration and CFO [13]

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There's no really changes to our cash position year-end versus what we have communicated earlier. The only thing that changed versus some time ago was the fact that we have acquired a piece of land in Mexico to start the hotel division. The impact of IFRS 15, like I said earlier, is more during the peak season, which is never a concern to (inaudible) for us in term of our excess cash. As you know, we are measuring always our cash at the lowest point of the year, which is mid-December. And at that time, the impact of these new standard is minimal, it's very, very small. Then we're still on track to -- we are numbers that we have communicated earlier and, again, no change in that direction.

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Operator [14]

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(foreign language) Our next question comes from the line of Cameron Doerksen from National Bank Financial.

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Cameron Doerksen, National Bank Financial, Inc., Research Division - Analyst [15]

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Just a few quick ones from me. I guess, Denis, first you mentioned some of the additional costs you're incurring related to the fleet transition trading and whatnot. I was just wondering if you could give a sense of whether we see kind of a peak in those costs. Or how long are those going to -- are going to persist?

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Denis Pétrin, Transat A.T. Inc. - VP of Finance & Administration and CFO [16]

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Well, we hit a peak this winter. We're still bringing 737 from the agreement that we were having for the last 5 years, and we have introduced Airbus A321 with the agreement with Thomas Cook. And we also have been also a couple of Airbus 321ceo, then we end up by having more aircraft site even than before and surely more aircraft type than we will have when we'll (inaudible) have in our fleet the Airbus A330 and the Airbus A321. Then this transition because of a higher number of plane because of higher numbers of pilots, not having in place one single group of pilot that could fly all the aircraft type because 310, 330 and 737 requires different qualifications. Then preparing for the future also bringing our group of pilots to be able to fly the Airbus. Have increased our costs -- will increase our costs this winter. I evaluate that this impact is probably $4 million, $5 million in Q1 and around $4 million in Q2. I don't expect this to continue after, should be minimal for this next summer -- summer '19. And we do not really anticipate that in winter '20, that will have a significant impact. And then it's really right now we're to be prepared to bring -- or to transition to our new fleet. There are costs associated with it. Yes.

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Cameron Doerksen, National Bank Financial, Inc., Research Division - Analyst [17]

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Okay, that's great. Second question, just on capital expenditures. I mean, you mentioned that the first hotel construction should begin kind of late June, early July. I'm just wondering if you have an update on how much you would expect to spend in capital expenditures on that hotel for this year. And where -- how did that sort of stretch into next year?

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Denis Pétrin, Transat A.T. Inc. - VP of Finance & Administration and CFO [18]

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The numbers that we have used in previous presentation was a good assumption to use like USD 250,000 per room. We said that, in Mexico, it's slightly higher than that where the Dominican Republic is slightly lower than that, but we're still confident to reach the $250,000 marks per room. This hotel, obviously, including the land and including everything. The construction -- duration of the construction will be between 15 and 18 months depending, and then it will be spread, I would say, equally -- or roughly equally every month for the time of the construction. Then this is for the first project. Again, it depends if we start it in May or June or July, but that's what we need to consider then the land is purchased first, and after that, the cost of the construction is spread, let's say, over 15 to 18 months.

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Cameron Doerksen, National Bank Financial, Inc., Research Division - Analyst [19]

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Okay, I think in the presentation you sort of suggest that the purchase of the land is about $60,000 per room, so I should just kind of -- since that's already spent, I should just kind of back that out of the $250,000 total, right. Is that the right way to look at it?

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Denis Pétrin, Transat A.T. Inc. - VP of Finance & Administration and CFO [20]

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Oh, yes. We have spent like USD 57 million for the land, and this is already disbursed. And the rest of the cost, which will be the construction cost, that will bring our cost per room to $250,000 or slightly higher than this because it's in Mexico on a per-room basis. The rest of the investment will be disbursed over the cost of the construction like 15 to 18 months, yes.

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Cameron Doerksen, National Bank Financial, Inc., Research Division - Analyst [21]

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Okay, understood. And then just final question, just IFRS 16 bringing off balance sheet leases on balance sheet. I know you're not going to be changing that reporting until next year, but I was wondering if you've done any preliminary work on that. I'm just wondering, your lease debt that you sort of talk about in your MD&A, that sort of $664 million, I mean, have you done any initial work on IFRS 16. Do people tell whether it'll be higher or lower than that once you do make the accounting change?

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Denis Pétrin, Transat A.T. Inc. - VP of Finance & Administration and CFO [22]

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We could expect some work have been done, but we still have plenty of time to do the full exercise. It's a complex exercise because we're not talking only about leases, but we're also talking about the cost of maintaining those aircraft, the engines, landing gear, C-check. Whereas for this new standard, we anticipate that, starting next year, cost will be capitalized and amortized instead of taking a provision for the next one then. It's a major change and this also affect the value of the leases that we will put on our balance sheet. Then what we could anticipate because of the profile of the fleet that we have, we will bring in 17 brand-new plane and the 17 brand-new plane, the Airbus A321neo long range, will have duration of 12 years, then we couldn't -- and you can see that also when we communicate our commitment for the year to come with the $2.6 billion. Then the calculation will have to be on these payments for the next 12 years and because the duration of the lease is longer than 7 that you are using to calculate the adjusted debt, we could anticipate that the amount that we'll put on the balance sheet will be higher than the calculation using 7. Now these payment have to be -- you have to calculate the net present value and extract from this the value of the main -- the initial maintenance included in the aircraft that will be delivered to us then. The aircraft will be delivered fresh of C-check. It will be delivered to us with landing gear, obviously, brand new with engine that will be brand new then, still a lot of work for us if we're being able to sort of to have a clear view on the exact impact of this new rule. This surely the -- a bigger exercise than the one for IFRS 9 or IFRS 15, for sure.

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Operator [23]

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(foreign language) (Operator Instructions) Our next question comes from the line of Turan Quettawala from Scotiabank. (foreign language)

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Turan Quettawala, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, Research Division - Director, Transportation and Aerospace, Equity Research [24]

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Thank you for taking the question. I just have 2 here. First of all, on A321, I guess, Denis, is it possible to quantify the potential impact that this will have on your cost? It seems that this is a pretty -- this is almost a plane that's made for you guys in terms of its capacity and its range. So any help that you can provide there as well. Maybe you can talk a little bit about what impact having the 17 new A321s will have on your capacity.

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Denis Pétrin, Transat A.T. Inc. - VP of Finance & Administration and CFO [25]

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In term of our cost, when we decided to select this aircraft versus all the other aircraft that were available or [eligible] in the market going to the Airbus, the same size of plane, we -- like you said, we came to the conclusion that this aircraft was made really for to meet our needs -- the needs of the summer because of the range but also the needs of the winter because of the size of the plane. Then we started by making a calculation on a pure cost basis, looking at a cost per seat. And the conclusion was that this aircraft will be able to deliver lower cost than the ones that we are incurring when we are using -- or the 330, which have 60% more seats, or the 310, which have 20% more seats then. Being able to produce cost per seat that will be slightly lower than the actual but by having numbers of seats that is really reduced compared to those 2 one will make this aircraft a more efficient aircraft, just looking at the cost. On the revenue side, that will also help, obviously, because, as you know, selling the last -- the last seats that we are selling on planes are not necessarily the one that we're selling at the highest price, especially in the winter. The size of the plane really matter. Filling big plane in the middle of a week or filling big plane when it's not the peak season, we expect also to have some benefit on the revenue line. Then for us, the transition of the fleet where we are today, it's -- we're really at a point right now where we have not only the cost of the past but also the cost of the transition, and all the benefits are in front of us then. We will see the first one coming into our fleet at the end of April. This is the date that was communicated to us. We have seen the plane. It's already with our -- made delivery on the plane, and the second one should follow before the beginning of the summer, like June, and they will come to our fleet progressively then. We're -- these aircraft should really help us in the coming years and not only for the Sun destination but also for the transatlantic program that will help us reduce our cost of training, making our group of pilots more efficient than -- lots of benefits for -- from that plane in our fleet and a plane that we'll be able to fly for many years to come.

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Turan Quettawala, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, Research Division - Director, Transportation and Aerospace, Equity Research [26]

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No. I understand that. I was just wondering if you give some numbers on what the potential cost impact would be and the impact on your capacity.

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Denis Pétrin, Transat A.T. Inc. - VP of Finance & Administration and CFO [27]

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The impact on the cost have been included in the cost reduction that we have presented in the initiative in the strat plan for the next years. On the fleet side, we consider that we could achieve -- just on the cost side, $30 million to $40 million, maintaining the same number of seats in today's is the numbers that we have in mind by the modification of our fleets and $30 million to $40 million a year was just today. That's for one. And in terms of capacity, then we are -- we will get rid of a number of plane that will be smaller than the numbers of plane that we will bring from the Airbus 321. In term of numbers of seats, the 17 aircraft allowing us to produce the same number of seats then there's no growth in that specific order of 17 planes. With that, we're maintaining and the purpose was, if we need more, then we'll just add more in the coming years. (inaudible)

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Turan Quettawala, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, Research Division - Director, Transportation and Aerospace, Equity Research [28]

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Okay, that's really helpful. And then I guess, just one more question, in terms of the quarter, I guess you mentioned in the quarter that -- in the MD&A that you had more sales of flight-only again in the winter here. I was just wondering if there's any specific reason behind that. Or is it just sort of something that just happened this quarter.

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Annick Guérard, Transat A.T. Inc. - COO [29]

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This is Annick. We're really going with consumer demand, so our seats are open for packages and for flight-only, so demand come in, of course, depending on the pricing. We always work at maximizing overall revenues. So today, the flight-only business on the stock market during winter season represent about 28% of our seats. This number was around more between 23 and 24 last year, so this has grown. This is why we see an impact on overall average pricing for the whole of winter. However, in terms of profitability, these flight-only are only as profitable as the packages. So it's just a question of mix that we see the overall revenue per pax going down for this quarter.

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Turan Quettawala, Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets, Research Division - Director, Transportation and Aerospace, Equity Research [30]

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Okay, Annick. So I guess in terms of this trend of increasing flight-only, are you concerned that maybe this is -- going to continue to grow over the next few years? And if it does, like how would you reconcile that with your strategy to put more capital into hotels?

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Annick Guérard, Transat A.T. Inc. - COO [31]

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No, it has grown. Well, it has grown slowly over the last years. As we read the market today and as we were reading the market last year as well, we think that the -- the top percentage in the Mexico and the Caribbean is around 30%. Beyond that, because we still see the demand for on close packages growing year after year, so we think that it's going to cap around 30%. It always depends on destination. For instance, in Cuba, that percentage of flight-only is about between 0% and 1%, very low. Whereas, when you go to destinations, such as Montego Bay, for instance, or I would say Mexico, Cancun, the rate goes a little bit higher. It goes higher as well in the South Caribbean, such as Nicaragua, Costa Rica. So depending on the destination, it varies. But overall, we don't anticipate over the next year that this percentage will grow beyond 3%. This is what we read in the market, and that's the feedback we see as well from other competitors operating on the Sun destination.

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Operator [32]

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I would now like to turn the presentation back to our presenters to continue or for their concluding remarks. (foreign language)

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Denis Pétrin, Transat A.T. Inc. - VP of Finance & Administration and CFO [33]

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So thank you, everyone. So let me remind you that our second quarter results will be released on June 13, 2019. Let me also remind you that our shareholders meeting is scheduled for April 30, 2019. On that date, we will hold both the annual and a special meeting. The proposal that special meeting will be to improve changes to our articles of incorporation to reflect the new foreign ownership regulatory constraints for Canadian air carriers. The meeting is, therefore, held slightly later than usual to provide sufficient time to allow for the implementation of such changes. Thank you, and have a good day.

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Operator [34]

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(foreign language) Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you all for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines. Thank you.