Winnipeg Airports Authority’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continued to gain momentum during the third quarter of 2022, which featured the busiest three months at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport in two and a half years.
Between July and September, 955,467 people travelled through YWG – 23 per cent more than the next highest quarterly passenger total since the start of the pandemic. This surge in traffic was primarily a result of pent-up demand for air travel and helped the airport move to within 78 per cent of the pre-pandemic numbers it registered in 2019.
“This past summer was truly exciting for all of us here at YWG,” said WAA President & CEO Nick Hays. “On top of providing more and more travellers with the opportunity to connect, we also celebrated the announcement of a new, non-stop route to Los Angeles by WestJet, which is launching this fall. Pair that with the return of several popular winter sun flights over the next few weeks and the recent removal of the final government-imposed travel restrictions, and we’re expecting a strong finish to the year.”
The airport’s thriving cargo sector saw both cargo plane landings and gross takeoff weight, a key metric in measuring air freight performance, increase for the third straight quarter. Work continued over the past three months on a significant redevelopment of the YWG campus to help support the growing cargo industry and deliver the infrastructure the community needs to succeed.
WAA’s consolidated revenue for the third quarter of 2022 jumped 34 per cent from the same period the previous year to $38 million. Earnings before interest, depreciation and taxes were also up year over year, increasing from $11 million to $18 million. While these results move WAA forward on its path to financial recovery from the pandemic, the organization recognizes it will take a number of years to restore the solid financial position it enjoyed at the end of 2019.
To further enhance accessibility and provide a more inclusive environment, YWG introduced the globally recognized Sunflower Lanyard program during the third quarter of 2022. The airport also saw WHILL return to the terminal in September to continue trials of its innovative autonomous wheelchair.
The third quarter also saw employees from WAA’s subsidiary WASCO raise more than $8,800 for CancerCare Manitoba Foundation through a head-shaving event, team members share their passion for aviation with the next generation on Girls in Aviation Day, and the first airport job fair in the YWG terminal to help connect hundreds of job seekers with our campus partners.