Winnipeg Airports Authority capped off a strong fourth quarter to 2022 with the busiest day at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport in nearly three years.
On December 30, YWG welcomed more than 12,000 travellers in a single day for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The airport finished the fourth quarter with a passenger total of 870,339 – up 67.8 per cent compared to the same period the previous year. Helping to propel this increase was the addition of a new, non-stop route to Los Angeles by WestJet, the return of flights to several popular winter sun destinations, and a busy holiday travel season. The quarter did end on a low with weather creating delays and cancellations across the aviation system, impacting travellers, including at YWG.
The year closed with 3,031,113 people passing through YWG, more than doubling the number of travellers in 2021. It also moves the airport to within 67.6 per cent of the pre-pandemic numbers it registered in 2019.
“Our recovery gained significant momentum throughout the year,” said Nick Hays, President and CEO of WAA. “We couldn’t be where we are today without the work of every single member of our team. It truly has been exciting for all of us to see the organization continue to move forward, but we know there’s still a lot of work ahead to get back to the solid position we were in before the pandemic.”
The airport’s cargo sector continued to thrive in the final months of 2022, thanks partly to the holiday shipping season – one of the busiest times of the year for air freight. YWG saw larger cargo planes moving more volume from Winnipeg over the quarter, with gross takeoff weight up year over year. This steady growth reaffirms the work underway by WAA to redevelop the cargo corner of the airport’s campus to support its freight partners and deliver the infrastructure the community needs to succeed.
WAA’s consolidated revenue for the fourth quarter of 2022 increased 48.1 per cent from the same period in 2021 to $36.1 million. Preliminary earnings before interest, depreciation and taxes were $15.1 million versus $9.1 million during the previous year’s fourth quarter.
As part of its commitment to provide a more accessible and inclusive environment, YWG implemented WHILL’s innovative self-driving wheelchairs in the fourth quarter as a fully available service, becoming the first place in North America to do so. Other highlights during the final three months of 2022 include the introduction of Oscar Sort’s artificial intelligence garbage sorting system in areas of the airport to help divert waste from landfills, the addition of a second Hug Rug in the Arrivals Hall outside the Customs Hall, and WAA’s decades-long Harvest Garden initiative feeding its 100,000th family in need.