Search website by keyword
As the aviation industry returns to a degree of normalcy it will take time to fully stabilize. I watch with interest as the ultra-low cost carriers grow their capacity. Flair has already become the third largest airline in terms of capacity at YYJ and will offer non-stop service to Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Toronto this summer. Lynx and SWOOP provide scheduled Toronto and Calgary flights and we are hopeful that Canada Jetlines will add YYJ to their network. We also remain optimistic that Porter will add YYJ non-stop flights this summer. I believe WestJet’s recent announcements to focus more of their capacity in western Canada will provide more flight options out of YYJ in the coming years.
A strong focus for us in the recapture of US non-stop service which is down some 300,000 annual seats from 2019. This will take considerable effort as presently the US carriers are primarily focusing on the 8 largest Canadian hub airports, but I believe there is an opportunity for expanded routes later this year or in 2024. Priority one is to build back the frequency into the Seattle hub, and then secure Denver, Los Angeles, and restore San Francisco non-stop flights.
It is exciting to think about growth again after the pandemic brought our business to a standstill. Our recently completed masterplan provides a road map for how we plan to develop the airport over the coming years to enable future growth and economic benefit for the region. The challenge will be how best and efficiently to stage the infrastructure investments recognizing our current debt-free financial position with a low Airport Improvement Fee and low aviation charges for the airlines. Our goal is to be a high-quality, low-cost airport.
2023 promises to be much better than the past and we anticipate passenger levels returning to pre-pandemic levels. The industry is also better prepared for full-service schedules as staffing levels have increased.
From all of us at Victoria International Airport, safe travels, and welcome back.
President and CEO
Victoria International Airport