Canadian airports see traffic fall by less than 10% in Q1; WestJet still increasing capacity

Image: Ribbon Cutting
Edmonton reported year-on-year growth in passenger numbers in April. Mexicana launched services from Edmonton to Mexico City last year.

In the first three to four months of 2009 Canada’s airports have followed the global trend of reporting a fall in the number of passengers handled. This was not helped by February reverting back to having just 28 days this year, and Easter moving back from March to April. However, most airports have kept their reductions to single-digit figures.

Chart: airport growth
Source: Airport websites

With April shifting to Easter three of the four airports that have reported traffic for April revealed an upward trend with Edmonton and Victoria (just) reporting actual year-on-year growth in passenger numbers.

WestJet still growing capacity

Figures for the first four months of this year show that WestJet is still increasing its available capacity. For much of 2008 it was growing at 20% but this has now fallen to well below 10%.

Chart: Airline development
Source: Air Canada, Westjet

Air Canada continues to cut capacity (which it started doing last July) though the re-timed Easter encouraged the airline to reduce capacity (ASMs) by just 2.2% in April. While domestic ASMs were down 4.2%, US transborder capacity was marginally up by 0.7%. Unfortunately for the airline transborder demand (RPMs) was down 4.2% resulting in a load factor reduction of 3.8 points from 78.8% to 75.0%.


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