The grounding of Boeing 737-8 MAX in March was one of the reasons behind the drop in passengers travelling through Victoria International Airport in 2019. (Black Press Media file photo)

The grounding of Boeing 737-8 MAX in March was one of the reasons behind the drop in passengers travelling through Victoria International Airport in 2019. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria International Airport likely won’t see two-million passengers in 2019

Grounding of Boeing 737-8 MAX in March among the reasons behind the drop

A spokesperson for the Victoria International Airport predicts about 1.94 million passengers will have travelled through the facility by the end of 2019. Last year, 2.046 million passengers travelled through the facility, setting a new record.

Rod Hunchak, director of business development and community relations, said the airport has seen what he called “unprecedented growth” during the last decade, adding that not many airports have seen continuous growth year after year.

“It’s unfortunate [that numbers dropped], but it is not out of line with what would happen at the other airports across the country. Like I said, the indications are that this is a temporary situation. We are always projecting growth … and the trend is always for positive growth anywhere between two and three per cent a year.”

RELATED: Victoria International Airport leader theorizes speculation tax led to decline in passenger numbers

Latest available numbers from October show 159,369 passengers for that month, down 8.5 per cent from October 2018. Year-to-year, the number of passengers dropped by 6.1 per cent. Total aircraft movements were also down in October (dropping 9.4 per cent) and year-to-year (dropping 7.8 per cent). This said, aircraft have handled more cargo, with the rate rising 27 per cent in October compared to October 2018 and 12.9 per cent year-to-year.

Hunchak cited a number of a factors for the decline, which has taken place throughout 2019.

Hunchak said one “significant” factor is the grounding of the Boeing 737-8 MAX in March following two crashes within five months that killed a total of 346 people.

“That has affected the number of available seats flying in and out of Victoria,” he said. “When you have less available seats, you have less available passengers.”

Hunchak added this phenomenon is not unique of Victoria, with other Canadian airports have experienced it also.

The aircraft remains grounded and Boeing announced this month that it plans to temporarily suspend construction of the plane. “It’s really hard to predict at this point,” said Hunchak, when asked what impact, if any, Boeing’s decision would have on passenger numbers.

Victoria International Airport also lost direct service to Seattle following a decision by Delta. United Airlines had earlier cancelled service to San Francisco.

But at the end of day, passengers counts are still “very good,” he said.

Victoria International Airports ranked as Canada’s 11th busiest airport in 2018 and will add capacity next year.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Swanwick Ranch in Metchosin, featuring an award-winning home on 67 acres of property overlooking the ocean, recently sold for a record-setting, yet undisclosed amount. (Sotheby’s International Realty Canada photo)
Sale of oceanfront property in Metchosin yields new record for Greater Victoria

Listed at $14.1 million, Swanwick Ranch sold to an undisclosed buyer

The price of gas is way up in many parts of Greater Victoria after a Monday afternoon surge sent it to 162.9 cents per litre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gas prices surge to 162.9 cents a litre at some Greater Victoria stations

Prices jumped up more than 10 cents Monday afternoon

The number of skilled trades workers available is not enough to fill the current construction boom in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Influx of skilled tradespeople falling behind Greater Victoria construction boom

Thousands of positions will be needed by 2030, despite flow of Camosun trades students

Research into the city of Victoria’s economic recovery through the pandemic shows things to be moving in the right direction. (Photo courtesy City of Victoria)
Data shows Victoria experiencing gradual economic recovery

Statistics for early 2021 show promising returns as Victoria 3.0 begins to take hold

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

Most Read