Canadian airports reporting growth of 4.4% in 2015 Q1

Foreign invasion! This summer has seen several foreign carriers launch new routes to Canada. TAM Airlines began serving Toronto Pearson from Sao Paulo (via New York) on 30 March, Air France launched Vancouver flights from Paris on 25 March and KLM introduced flights to Edmonton from Amsterdam on 19 May.

Latest passenger figures for 10 of Canada’s busiest airports, reveal that demand is up 4.4% in the first quarter of 2015, slightly below the 6.1% growth reported across these airports in 2014. However, this is better than the 3.7% growth reported across all of 2012 and the 2.7% growth in 2013. Of the 10 airports analysed only six have reported passenger growth in every month so far this year.

Chart: Canadian airports traffic development Year-on-year change in monthly passengers: 1/12 to 4/15

Source: Airport websites.

Vancouver leads way on US growth

The eight busiest Canadian airports all break down their traffic figures into domestic, transborder (US) and international (non-US). A graph of 2015 year-to-date ‘growth’ for each airport by region reveals that domestic traffic is up at six airports, but with only Winnipeg achieving growth of more than 5%. In the transborder market six of the eight airports are reporting growth, led by Vancouver (+13.1%), Ottawa (+7.8%) and Toronto Pearson (+7.2%).

Chart: Top 8 Canadian airports 2015 Year to date change in passenger numbers by region

Source: Airport websites.

International (non-US) traffic is up at six of the eight airports, with Edmonton reporting impressive double-digit growth of almost 15% in Q1, followed by Toronto Pearson (+9.3%) and Calgary (+9.1%). Only Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, Montreal and Winnipeg have reported year-to-date growth in all three market segments in 2015.

WestJet launches second transatlantic service using 737s

The following new international (including US) services have been introduced during the current S15 season from Canada’s main airports:

  • Edmonton (YEG): KLM to Amsterdam (19 May).
  • Halifax (YHZ): WestJet to Glasgow (29 May).
  • Montreal (YUL): Air Canada rouge to Mexico City (5 June) and Venice Marco Polo (14 May).
  • Toronto (YYZ): Aeromexico to Mexico City (4 May); Air Canada to Amsterdam (4 June), Atlantic City (22 May) and Austin-Bergstrom (18 May); TAM Airlines to Sao Paulo Guarulhos (30 March).
  • Vancouver (YVR): Air Canada rouge to Osaka Kansai (1 May); Air France to Paris CDG (25 March).

In addition Air Canada has already announced plans to operate non-stop flights from Toronto Pearson to Delhi and Dubai starting in November 2015.

Canadian carriers have also been busy launching new international services in 2015. Air Canada rouge began Vancouver-Osaka Kansai and Montreal-Venice flights in May, while WestJet now links Halifax and Glasgow in Scotland during the summer season, the airline’s second transatlantic route.


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