Winnipeg Airports Authority continued taking action in the fourth quarter of 2020 to sustain Winnipeg Richardson International Airport as the entire aviation industry continued to struggle.
The pandemic and ongoing government restrictions on travel resulted in a further drop in passenger traffic compared to both the fourth quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2020. Passenger traffic dropped 86.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2019 and 27 per cent compared to the previous quarter of 2020.
The year ended with promise as the long-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine started to roll out in Canada and around the world. The airport was proud to be working with cargo partners to facilitate the arrival of the first doses of the vaccine in Manitoba on December 15.
“Vaccines are certainly a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, and they will be essential to our collective recovery,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of WAA. “As Canadian and
global vaccination levels increase, we expect to see a relaxation of the restrictions and greater comfort with people travelling again. However, vaccines alone won’t solve our challenges. There are many factors to consider when it comes to moving towards a more normalized aviation sector, including the status of travel protocols and the state of the economy.”
The fourth quarter also saw WAA complete its bondholder consent solicitation process and receive agreement on a waiver. This is a strong signal of support from the market and allows the company to secure short-term financial relief.
WAA’s unaudited consolidated revenue was $14.4 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $33.9 million for the same period in 2019. Earnings before interest, depreciation and taxes were $1.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2020. Annual financial results will be released at the Annual Public Meeting scheduled to be held in April 2021.
WAA’s focus on diversification helped offset some of the challenges and continued to keep the community connected over the final quarter of 2020. Cargo activity continued to grow over the quarter, seeing everything from holiday gifts to COVID-19 vaccines passing through the airport. The number of cargo planes landing at the airport increased by 7.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 - helping drive a 4.1 per cent increase in total cargo landings year-over-year. Gross takeoff weight was also up 4.7 per cent in the fourth quarter versus the same period in 2019.
WAA’s subsidiary, Winnipeg Airport Services Corp. (WASCO), renewed a one-year contract to deliver Safety Management Systems and Quality Assurance Programs for the Government of Nunavut and completed the development of a regulatory compliant Emergency Response Plan for two other Canadian airports.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, WAA was named one of Manitoba’s Top Employers for the 10th year in a row. The airport also received an inaugural Manitoba Accessibility Award in the large-business category, and Airport Council International – North America recognized the airport with an Overall Customer Experience Program Award for medium sized airports.
About Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.
Winnipeg Airports Authority serves the community by leading transportation innovation and growth. As a non-share capital corporation, all net revenue is reinvested back into delivering on our mission of providing excellent airport services and facilities in a fiscally prudent manner.
WAA is proud to be recognized as one of Manitoba's Top Employers for 2021, the tenth year in a row.
For more information:
Tyler MacAfee, Vice President, Communications and Government Relations
Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.
Media Line: 204-992-2791