Updated figures from the Victoria Airport Authority show the number of passengers travelling through Victoria International Airport (YYJ) down 6.1 per cent in 2019 compared to 2018. (Black Press Media File)

Passenger count at Victoria International Airport down 6.1 per cent in 2019

Decline in 2019 worse than previous estimates

Updated figures from the Victoria Airport Authority show the number of passengers travelling through Victoria International Airport (YYJ) down 6.1 per cent in 2019 compared to 2018.

The figures show 1.924 million passengers used the airport in 2019, as opposed to 2.048 million in 2018.

The drop of 6.1 per cent is worse than the airport’s forecast of 5.3 per cent, as found in a report before Sidney council Monday.

RELATED: Victoria International Airport named one of the best employers in B.C.

The report from the non-profit authority broadly recaps recent developments, including the cessation of two routes to the United States. The report noted that United Airlines suspended Victoria – San Francisco flights after 11 years of service. “United has indicated interest in a potential Victoria – Denver service in 2021,” it reads.

Delta Air Lines also suspended its service to Seattle, which it had introduced in 2016, because of what the report described as “as poor sector profitability and overall network contribution.”

But the report also points to positive developments. In June 2019, Air Canada doubled non-stop frequency on the Victoria – Montreal route increasing to six flights per week,” it reads. “This was a major increase and a precursor to daily service and potential year-round flights.”

Sunwing also added to their Los Cabos and Huatulco service with new new flights to Ixtapa and Mazatlan. “With West Jet and Air Transit securing Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, YYJ’s total Mexico program now has six markets,” it reads.

The report also notes that the airport is one of only two debt-free airports in Canada.

RELATED: Snow leaves more than 65 people sleeping at Victoria International Airport

Looking at key events of 2019, the report notes that last year’s snow event YYJ was the second biggest snow event in the history of the airport. Snow fall of 68 cm over seven days cancelled 281 flights, impacting 9,000 passengers.

Airport Fire Services also responded to 221 incidents in 2019, including medical incidents, wildlife control, aircraft emergencies and fire incidents.

Since the federal government transferred the airport to the non-profit authority in 1997, it has invested more than $217 million in capital improvements, including $100 million over the past five years.

Completed projects include the first phase of the lower passenger departure lounge expansion worth a total of $19.4 million, a 1,900 square-metre addition that features innovative structural wood monoliths and skylights, exterior landscaping on the apron to create a sense of place as well. A new art installation titled Time Catcher by local artist Charles Campbell will be installed spring 2020.

Victoria is Canada’s 11th largest airport and recently received recognition as one of the best employers in B.C.

Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke marine search and rescue cast their nets for volunteers

Non-profit looking for crew and society members

No plan in place if Sooke homeless shelter forced to shut doors

Contract for Otter Road facility now month to month

Three years for serial bank robber who hit Sidney branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Sidney, Abbotsford and Vancouver

Cook Street Village grocery icon closing, new owners plan major renovation

Louie family has operated Oxford Foods and predecessor for five decades at Cook and Oxford streets

Couple that owned Sooke Harbour House awarded $4 million after lengthy court case

B.C. Supreme Court rules in favour of Frederique and Sinclair Philip

Rare fish washes onto Whiffin Spit in Sooke

Deep water fish identified as ‘King-of-the-salmon’

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Island RCMP remind drivers not to text after 19 tickets handed out in 90 minutes

The $368 fines were handed out Tuesday on Norwell Drive and Old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Most Read