It’s turning out to be a record-setting year as airports across Canada release their year-end passenger counts
Ottawa reported Friday that its passenger counts topped 5 million for the first time, to reach 5,110,801, up 5.6 per cent from the previous year.
“Five million passengers is an important milestone for the Ottawa International Airport, and for the City of Ottawa, said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority in a statement. “The distinction puts YOW in the next class of airport in terms of size, but more importantly, confirms that the local economy is doing well.”
The airport authority says growth was led by domestic increases, along with increased daytime frequencies to the United States and strong growth overseas.
It’s official: We’ve reached 5 million passengers! Thank you to our passengers, employees and partners! https://t.co/kmiN45c5qc / C’est officiel : Nous avons atteint 5 millions de passagers! Merci à nos passagers, employés et partenaires! https://t.co/l7JRr5K3iv #YOW pic.twitter.com/3KQ0tYQKmW— Ottawa Airport (@FlyYOW) 11 January 2019
Ottawa joined other airports that set records in 2018, including Vancouver, Toronto (which both have yet to report final tallies), and Abbotsford, British Columbia, that welcomed more than 800-thousand passengers for the first time, thanks to growth among ultra low-cost carriers.
Despite a sluggish economy and hard times in the oil industry, Edmonton’s passenger numbers have picked up substantially since bottoming out in 2016, setting a new high water mark in 2018.
Edmonton International welcomed 8.2 million passengers last year, led by a surge in travellers to the United States (up 9.9 per cent), and within Canada (up 6.3 per cent), though the airport reports passengers passing through the terminal and other operators separately.
|Airport||2018 passengers||2019 passengers|
|Prince George, B.C.||506,486|
|Winnipeg||4,500,000* (estimate)||4,500,000 (est.)|
NAV CANADA, which operates the country’s air traffic control system, says air traffic increased 5.1 per cent last year, the fifth straight year of growth.