Two airports, $600 million in losses

Montreal and Toronto report staggering losses as pandemic obliterates the bottom line.

airports $600 million losses
Toronto Pearson International Airport (CNW Group/Greater Toronto Airports Authority).

Toronto and Montreal each published their 2020 full-year results Wednesday, showing in stark terms the pandemic’s financial hit. Together, the airports posted losses of more than $600 million.

Toronto lost more than $383 million in 2020. The airport said passenger activity dropped 73.6% on the year. And that caused revenues to plummet almost $700 million. In Canada, airport revenues are closely tied to passenger numbers. Put another way, the airport lost $28.82 for every man, woman, and child who flew through the facility.

“Our full-year passenger and financial results make clear the impact that COVID-19 has had on Toronto Pearson,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “While we have pushed toward leading hygiene practices, and advocated for a stronger approach to passenger testing, there is more that must be done with our government and aviation sector partners to develop a recovery framework that permits the safe restart of air travel.  Canada’s airports must be given the tools they require to rebound in a post-COVID world or our aviation sector and the country’s competitiveness will suffer.”

Toronto is Canada’s largest airport and serves as a hub for both Air Canada and Westjet. Both have slashed routes as a result of COVID-19. But the airport revealed Wednesday it renegotiated landing fees with the two carriers. And that will mean even less revenue for the airport as aviation recovers.

“While considerable uncertainty remains over the near-term demand for air travel,” the airport said, “the new fee regime is expected to result in reduced overall aeronautical revenues to the GTAA over the remaining term of the agreements.”


Similar situation in Montreal

Montreal revealed similar bleak finances for 2020. Revenues cratered 60% to just $282 million in 2020 as the number of passengers fell to just 5.4 million people. The all added up to losses of $234 million on the year, which works out to $43 for every passenger who passed through the terminal.

“The year 2020 was truly one to be forgotten for ADM, as shown by our financial results,” said Philippe Rainville, the President and CEO of Aéroports de Montréal. “Although the recovery of the airline industry will still take some time, the progress made in the vaccination campaign in the last few weeks, both in Québec and internationally, makes us a little more optimistic about the future. However, we know that we are not out of the woods.”

Rainville said the airport is stepping up cost-cutting efforts in 2021. Last year, it cut expenses 33% by closing parts of the terminal, cutting salaries, and slashing the workforce.

Cargo, which has been a rare bright spot for airports across the country, produced comparatively little revenue. Aéroports de Montréal also operates Mirabel airport, which handles many of the region’s cargo operations. However, ADM said cargo operations only remained “relatively stable” and brought in less that $6 million in revenues.

Amount (millions)
Change from 2019 (%)
Amount (millions)
Change from 2019 (%)
- 45.9
- 60.1
Operating Expenses
- 31.5
- 33
Net Loss
- 374
- 393.3
- 73.3
- 73.2

While you’re here

Western Aviation News needs your help.

We’re an independent voice for and about Canadian aviation. We keep the site free to share our passion with the world.

We survive thanks to the support of readers like you.

Categories: Montreal, Pandemic, Toronto

1 reply »