One of the busiest months at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport since the start of the pandemic helped Winnipeg Airports Authority finish the first quarter of 2022 on a strong note.
A little more than 187,900 people travelled through YWG in March, which represents 44% of the 428,994 passengers the airport saw in the first three months of the year. Overall, traffic in the first quarter reached 62 per cent of pre-pandemic numbers for the same period, but was up 314 per cent compared to the
first quarter of 2021. This surge in traffic was propelled by the removal of more travel restrictions and an increase in consumer confidence leading up to spring break week. On March 24 alone, more than 9,400 people travelled through YWG – the most in a single day in more than two years.
“The numbers we saw in the final month of the first quarter are extremely encouraging when it comes to our recovery,” said Nick Hays, who started as WAA’s new President and CEO in February. “The increase in traffic shows that our community is ready to travel again to see loved ones and explore the world, and our airline partners continue to add capacity because they recognize the strong demand in our region. We look forward to working with our partners to welcome even more people to the airport in the months ahead.”
The airport’s thriving cargo sector continues to deliver with gross takeoff weight, a key metric in measuring air freight performance, up compared to the same period the previous year. A total of 1,120 cargo planes landed at YWG during the first quarter of 2022. Work to further solidify YWG’s status as an integral cargo hub continued in the first quarter with the progression of the East Side Air Cargo Development. The
multi-phase project will include the construction of a new Multi-tenant Air Cargo Logistics Facility, which is funded in part by a $30-million investment from the federal government under the National Trade Corridors Fund.
WAA’s consolidated revenue for the first quarter of 2022 was $24.4 million, an increase of 224 per cent from the first quarter of 2021. Earnings before interest, depreciation and taxes were $7.0 million versus a flat result during the same period the previous year.
The start of the first quarter marked a new milestone for WAA. On January 1, the organization celebrated the 25th anniversary of when it took over the operations of YWG from the federal government. Since then, WAA has spent more than $1 billion to transform the airport into the community asset it is today.
Other highlights during the first three months of 2022 include the return of the Hug Rug to the Arrivals Hall after 736 days in storage, the opening of the new Sapphire Lounge to provide travellers more options near the boarding gates and WAA being named one of Manitoba’s Top Employers for the 11th year in a row.