Edmonton International Airport passenger volumes now 90% of pre-pandemic level

Aerial view of Edmonton International Airport
Thankyoubaby, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Edmonton International Airport (YEG) reached more than 90 per cent of pre-pandemic passenger volumes in 2023, exceeding previous projections for recovery.

2023 YEG Growth

Led by president and CEO Myron Keehn, YEG witnessed a firm rebound in 2023, serving an impressive 7.5 million passengers.

This growth also saw the introduction of Frankfurt and Minneapolis as new non-stop destinations. Such strategic expansions characterized YEG’s role in fostering economic development, bolstering the visitor economy, and positioning the Edmonton Region both domestically and internationally.

The heart of YEG’s success lies in its robust air service, which witnessed a remarkable surge in 2023. The airport witnessed a substantial uptick in domestic, transborder, and international traffic, recording increases of 21.8 per cent, 71.9 per cent, and 77.5 per cent, respectively.

Exterior view of Edmonton International Airport
Photo Credit: Edmonton International Airport


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This surge culminated in over 118,000 total aircraft movements, facilitating connectivity to more than 50 non-stop destinations.

Among the highlights were the inauguration of Condor’s service to Frankfurt, Germany, and WestJet’s introduction of routes to Minneapolis, Minn.

Additionally, the announcement of Atlanta, Georgia, as a forthcoming non-stop destination with WestJet in 2024 furthered YEG’s drive towards expanding its global profile.

Economic Input

Beyond its annual operational performance, YEG also emerged as a pivotal economic catalyst, with Edmonton Airports’ economic output surging to $4.9 billion in 2023.

This meteoric rise, from the pre-pandemic output of $3.2 billion, underscored YEG’s role as a driver of economic prosperity, generating over 21,000 jobs and fostering growth in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region and beyond.

Cargo Capabilities and Innovations

In line with its commitment to innovation, YEG continued to revolutionize cargo operations, welcoming Buffalo Airways to its roster.

This addition not only bolstered dedicated freighter service to Northern communities but also exemplified YEG’s adaptability in meeting evolving market demands.

Moreover, YEG’s pioneering commercial drone route, spanning 1,538 flights and covering 4,306 kilometers, underscored its commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technologies to optimize cargo movements and enhance operational efficiency.

Cultivating a Vibrant Ecosystem

YEG’s commitment to fostering a vibrant ecosystem extended beyond air service and cargo operations to encompass the development of retail and commercial spaces.

Noteworthy additions included the opening of four new retail stores within the terminal, along with significant infrastructure enhancements such as Montana First Nation’s new warehousing facility and Leduc County’s groundbreaking on an Emergency Services Facility.

Sustainability and Social Responsibility

At the core of YEG’s ethos lies a steadfast commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. With a pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040, YEG forged strategic partnerships to drive the adoption of sustainable technologies.

Notably, its collaboration with Toyota Canada marked a significant milestone, heralding the introduction of Alberta’s first fleet of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.

Furthermore, YEG’s unwavering support during crises, such as the 2023 wildfire season, underscored its role as a pillar of resilience and compassion, offering refuge to international firefighters and extending support to affected communities.

Diversity and Inclusivity

As an Airport for Everyone, YEG remained steadfast in its commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

Initiatives such as the relaunch of the music program, partnership with Montana First Nation for reconciliation, and collaboration with ACT Alberta to combat human trafficking exemplified YEG’s dedication to fostering a welcoming and safe environment for all travelers.


Looking ahead, YEG’s ambitious infrastructure upgrades underscore its unwavering commitment to enhancing passenger experiences and operational efficiency.

With the ongoing departures ramp upgrade and the promise of a new and improved departures roadway, YEG steps into the new year on a very firm footing.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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