A surge in passenger traffic at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport propelled by pent-up travel demand helped Winnipeg Airports Authority’s pandemic recovery climb to new heights during the second quarter of 2022.
More than 775,000 people travelled through YWG between April and June, which equals 71 per cent of pre-pandemic numbers for the same period three years ago. Compared to the second quarter of 2021, the latest three-month passenger total is up 569 per cent.
The increase in travellers enabled the airport to achieve significant milestones in its recovery. In May, YWG welcomed 264,550 passengers, marking the first time since the start of the pandemic it saw more than a quarter of a million people pass through the terminal in a month. The airport also welcomed more than 11,000 travellers on June 20, the highest single day total in 27 months.
“There’s nothing more enjoyable for us than providing our community the opportunity to head out on a new adventure or reconnect with the people and places they love to visit,” said WAA President & CEO Nick Hays. “We expect the exciting trend of increasing passenger numbers to continue throughout the summer as more and more people hop aboard a plane. At the same time, we’re keeping a close eye on some potential disruptors to our recovery that have recently emerged, such as staff shortages throughout the airline industry.”
The airport’s steadily growing cargo sector continued to thrive in the second quarter, with an increase in gross takeoff weight, a key metric in measuring air freight performance, and overall cargo plane landings from the previous year. To help set up this critical industry and our region for long-term success, work progressed on the multi-phase East Side Air Cargo Development project.
WAA’s consolidated revenue for the second quarter of 2022 increased 65 per cent from the same period the previous year to $33 million. Earnings before interest, depreciation and taxes were $16.2 million versus $2.4 million during the second quarter of 2021.
As part of its commitment to contribute to and help the communities it serves, WAA supported the arrival of a charter flight of more than 300 displaced Ukrainians during the second quarter. The organization also provided donations to four local charities as part of its initial intake of its Employee Giving Fund and saw team members come together to plant the airport’s Harvest Garden in support of Harvest Manitoba.
Other highlights from the second quarter include WAA committing to reconciliation by signing Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord, the arrival of Lynx Air to YWG, and celebrating the grand opening of the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada’s new building on the airport campus.