Ongoing travel constraints hinder region’s air traffic recovery in the third quarter
October 27, 2020
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – October 27, 2020 – Travel restrictions and self‐isolation protocols continued to negatively impact the region’s connectivity and hinder Winnipeg Airports Authority’s (WAA) recovery efforts in the third quarter of 2020.
Passenger traffic remained low during the quarter, averaging 2,051 passengers a day moving through Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG). This is an 85 per cent drop in traffic when compared to the third quarter of 2019, when 13,273 passengers a day travelled through the airport. Third quarter traffic did increase by 132,95 travellers over the second quarter of 2020, due in part to the lifting of provincial self‐isolation protocols on June 21 for travellers arriving from Western Canada or Northwestern Ontario.
WAA continues to prioritize the safety of travellers and employees at the airport, implementing measures to exceed public health standards and boost traveller confidence. The YWG Clean Program continued to evolve, including introducing ultra‐violet light handrail sterilizers to disinfect the Arrivals Hall escalator. As well, in July, the airport made face coverings mandatory in the terminal, offering another layer of protection. These initiatives led to YWG being recognized by Airports Council International’s global Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) program, reaffirming WAA’s commitment to being an industry leader in safety.
Travel restrictions continued to have a negative impact on WAA’s financial position, as 90 per cent of revenues are linked to passenger traffic while 85 per cent of operating costs are fixed. WAA continues to find efficiencies to reduce costs, including shutting down areas of the terminal, reducing staffing, and delaying capital projects, however, the airport needs to remain open and the airfield and runways maintained to provide essential services and move critical goods, while meeting all regulatory obligations. Consolidated revenue for the third quarter of 2020 was $14.3 million, versus $36.1 million in 2019. Earnings before interest, depreciation and taxes were $2.6 million for the third quarter of 2020, compared to $18.5 million during the same period in 2019.
“Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, like the rest of Canada’s airports, continues to struggle as governments restrict travel and impose self‐isolation protocols, crippling airport revenues,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of WAA. “Winnipeg Richardson International Airport will be essential to this region’s economic recovery, but we can’t do it alone. Government support is required to ensure the airport can continue to provide essential services for our community in the future.”
Cargo operations remained strong as WAA and partners helped move vital goods in and out of our community. The number of cargo plane landings increased by 1.85 per cent in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The airport also welcomed a steady flow of large cargo aircraft from around the world, keeping Winnipeg connected to international markets.
WAA continued to diversify revenues through its subsidiary Winnipeg Airport Services Corp. (WASCO), which provides aviation services at other airports across Canada. In the third quarter, WASCO was contracted to deliver airport management services at Stephenville Airport in Newfoundland and Labrador. This expands WAA’s reach to Eastern Canada and allows the company to have a presence from coast‐to‐coast‐to‐coast.
Despite the current challenges, WAA remains committed to leading transportation innovation and growth for the benefit of the community it serves. In September, WAA held its Annual Public Meeting, giving community and business leaders in attendance, and those participating virtually, an opportunity to hear directly from senior leadership on steps taken during the pandemic. WAA’s dedicated staff also continued the tradition of growing a garden at the airport in support of Winnipeg Harvest. This year, the team’s efforts resulted in 1,566 pounds of vegetables being donated to help support local Manitobans during this critical time.
About Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.
Winnipeg Airports Authority serves the community by leading transportation innovation and growth. As a non-share capital corporation, all net revenue is reinvested back into delivering on our mission of providing excellent airport services and facilities in a fiscally prudent manner. WAA does this through a group of companies working together toward a common vision. Airport operations support over 18,500 jobs in the community and generate $4.3 billion in economic impact.
WAA is proud to be recognized as one of Manitoba’s Top Employers for 2020, the ninth year in a row.
For more information:
Tyler MacAfee, Vice President, Communications and Government Relations
Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.
Media Line: 204.992.2791