Halifax Stanfield Airport Makes a Return to Financial Stability

View across Halifax Stansfield Airport
Photo Credit: Halifax Airport Authority

The Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) celebrated a return to financial health at its annual public meeting.

This turnaround is marked by a significant rise in passenger traffic and revenue growth.

2023 Financial Performance

HIAA reported a net income of $16 million in 2023, a dramatic improvement compared to the $7.4 million loss in 2022.

This positive shift reflects a return to near-normal travel demand and available capacity. This resulted in a substantial boost in activity and revenue after a challenging three-year period of limited travel and diminished financial performance.

“In 2023, we laid a strong foundation for future success,” said Joyce Carter, HIAA President and CEO. “We focused on restarting and attracting numerous passenger air services, welcoming millions of travelers, and establishing robust systems for long-term prosperity.”

“I am incredibly proud of how we navigated these challenges. The dedication of our team and partners ensured the seamless service that Halifax Stanfield is renowned for.”

Total revenue reached $139.5 million, reflecting a 25% increase over 2022. This growth is attributed to a rise in passenger volumes and airline seat capacity across domestic, international, and transborder sectors at Halifax Stanfield.

Strong Passenger Numbers Fuel Growth

The robust overall passenger volumes, up by 15%, positively impacted general airport operations and the airport capital improvement program. This significant increase dramatically improved HIAA’s bottom-line performance.

Both aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenue streams witnessed growth in 2023. Notably, non-aeronautical revenue rose by 26%.

This increased flexibility provides HIAA with a strategic advantage in securing expanded air service capacity for the community in the years to come.

HIAA’s revenue growth outpaced the rise in expenses, which increased by $4.7 million compared to 2022. While expense control remains a priority for HIAA, the increase in overall airport activity necessitated higher upfront spending.

Additionally, inflationary pressures contributed to the rising cost of services and supplies.

“This significant turnaround in our financial performance is immensely gratifying, especially considering the rapid decline we experienced in 2020 and 2021 due to pandemic-related travel restrictions,” said Paul Brigley, HIAA Vice-President, Finance and CFO.

“Our sound financial position allows HIAA to continue focusing on strategic capital investments and delivering exceptional experiences for our passengers.”

Investing in the Future

HIAA remained committed to strategic capital expenditures and essential investments to maintain safe and efficient airport operations.

Capital expenditures totaled $30.1 million in 2023, representing a 23% increase from 2022.

Looking ahead, HIAA will continue to invest in facility and process improvements. These investments aim to address rising peak-hour capacity constraints. They seek to achieve sustainability goals, and deliver planned accessibility enhancements.

“I am incredibly proud of the team’s accomplishments over the past year,” said Ms. Carter. “The dedication of the entire HIAA team has revitalized our operations and fostered a genuine sense of excitement for the future. I am truly enthusiastic about what this momentum holds for us!”

Exterior of Halifax Stanfield Airport
Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis from Halifax, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

HIAA 2023 Highlights

  • Welcomed 3,579,293 passengers, reflecting a 15% increase over 2022.
  • Launched “Uplifted,” their revitalized community outreach and sponsorship program.
  • Implemented universal self-serve bag drops for all airlines, enhancing user experience and functionality in the check-in hall.
  • Welcomed new restaurants to elevate the passenger experience, including JJ’s Snack Bar in U.S. departures and The Pizza Box in Domestic/International.
  • Completed construction of a new taxiway on Runway 14, enhancing safety, efficiency, and lowering the airport’s carbon footprint.
  • Streamlined the passenger security experience with the implementation of the YHZ Express and Verified Traveller programs.
  • Achieved Level 3 ACI-North America Airport Carbon Accreditation in recognition of their ongoing commitment to a sustainable future.
  • Implemented accessible check-in kiosks and a curbside assistance paging system.
  • Became the first airport authority in Canada to achieve Rainbow Registered status, officially recognized as a welcoming and inclusive space for the 2SLGBTQI+ community.
  • Commenced construction on a new International Connections Facility to facilitate a smoother international travel experience for passengers.
  • Celebrated reaching over two years with zero lost-time injuries.
  • Upgraded Runway 14 approach lighting to energy-efficient LED technology.
  • Processed 39,450 metric tonnes of cargo, including a significant quantity of world-famous Nova Scotia lobster.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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