‘On the right track’: Winnipeg airport travel numbers spiked during the spring

Passenger numbers at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport are continuing to take off this year, according to a recent report from the Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA).

According to the WAA’s second-quarter report, more than 775,000 passengers travelled through the airport in Winnipeg between April and June, which equals 71 per cent of the numbers in 2019 for the same period. The WAA said that compared to the second quarter of 2021, the passenger total is up 569 per cent.

“It means that we’re going on the right track, where we know that there is a pent-up demand within the community for people wanting to travel,” said Michel Rosset with the WAA. “A lot of them haven’t travelled in two and a half, almost three years, by the time it was their last vacation.”

According to the WAA, 264,550 passengers came through the airport throughout May, the first time since the pandemic started that more than 250,000 people came through the terminal in a month. More than 11,000 people came through the airport on June 20, which the WAA said was the highest single-day total in 27 months.

While air travel is improving, Rosset said they are still working to return to pre-pandemic numbers.

“Before the pandemic, we saw about 12,300 people pass through the airport every single day on average,” he said. “Now, the latest numbers are seeing just about 9,600, 9700 passengers on average per day. So, the numbers are trending in the right direction, but we still have a ways to go to match those 2019 numbers.”

Rosset added the Winnipeg airport hasn’t been impacted by long lines and delays seen at other airports, such as Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, but adds the WAA is in discussion with Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra about the current situation.

“Here in Winnipeg, I know we’re in conversation working with all of our airline partners, concession partners, the security partners and our airline partners to ensure that everyone coming through here has a good experience and a seamless experience,” he said.

The WAA is also reporting a revenue increase of 65 per cent from the second quarter of 2021.

-with files from CTV’s Maralee Caruso

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