Winnipeg Airports Authority took off to a solid start to 2023, thanks partly to some of the largest passenger volumes seen in three years.
Nearly 105,000 people travelled through Winnipeg Richardson International Airport during the 10-day period leading up to and through spring break at the end of March. The last time YWG registered similar numbers was in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
This increase helped YWG finish the first quarter of 2023 with 909,578 passengers, which is 112 per cent more than the previous year and brings the airport within 80 per cent of its pre-pandemic traffic total. Propelling the eighth straight quarter of year-over-year growth was an ongoing release of pent-up travel demand and an increase in available flights. The airport saw 27 per cent more commercial passenger planes land in the first three months of the year compared to the first quarter of 2022.
“The continued recovery of our route network is a great reminder of what we can achieve when we all work together,” said WAA President and CEO Nick Hays. “By collaborating with our many partners, we’re finding more ways to enhance the connectivity of the community, and provide more options for Manitobans to reunite with loved ones, head out to their favourite travel spots, and explore new, exciting destinations.”
The airport’s cargo sector remained steady in the first quarter, with freight plane movements and gross takeoff weight, two key metrics, showing little change compared to the same period the previous year.
WAA’s consolidated revenue in Q1 increased 53 per cent year over year to $37.3 million. Earnings before interest, depreciation, and taxes were also up from the first quarter of 2022, rising 141 per cent to $17.0 million.
During the first quarter, WestJet shared it will increase seat capacity to and from Winnipeg this summer by 42 per cent over the previous year. Flair also unveiled it will be offering seasonal service to Kelowna, Victoria, and London, Ontario, on top of providing more flights to other popular Canadian cities.
All these accomplishments wouldn’t be possible without the collective dedication, commitment, and passion of WAA’s employees and partners. As a show of appreciation for their invaluable contributions, the organization hosted a National Aviation Day event in the airport terminal in February. A gathering was also held the following month in recognition of International Women’s Day and Women in Aviation Week to celebrate the achievements of WAA’s female employees.
WAA capped off the first quarter by being named one of Manitoba’s Top Employers for the 12th consecutive year.