Winnipeg Airport soars into summer after strong Q2 performance

Aerial view of Winnipeg Richardson Airport.
Photo Credit: Winnipeg Airports Authority
By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read

In a strong resurgence, Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) has witnessed a significant increase in passenger volumes, propelling the Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) towards levels close to those seen before the pandemic.

Over the last three months, the airport welcomed 1,020,721 travelers, reaching a noteworthy 93.3 percent of the traffic levels recorded during the same period in 2019.

A further achievement during this period is the airport’s accomplishment of hosting more than a million passengers in a single quarter for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.

The closing days of the second quarter of 2023 were marked by an extraordinary milestone, with over 15,800 people passing through the airport on Friday, June 30, just ahead of the July long weekend.

Exceeding expectations


Nick Hays, President, and CEO of WAA, expressed his satisfaction with the strong passenger numbers leading into the busy summer season, emphasizing that these figures have surpassed expectations and signify a significant milestone in the recovery process.

The recovery is attributed not only to the pent-up demand for travel but also to the dedication of the resilient team at the airport and unwavering support from partners, both of which have enabled the airport to meet the community’s needs effectively.

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Hays looks forward to further collaboration as more travelers pass through the airport, embarking on exciting journeys in the coming months.

Expansion of services and new partnerships


Adding to the positive trajectory, YWG recently reintroduced popular summer seasonal services to Kelowna and Victoria. Moreover, Flair Airlines launched a novel route connecting the airport to London, Ontario.

Looking ahead, travelers will soon be able to enjoy year-round service to Atlanta via WestJet, and WAA’s newest partnership with Porter will offer flights to Toronto-Pearson.

Both these significant developments were announced during the second quarter, enhancing the airport’s connectivity and options for travelers.

Cargo operations


The airport’s cargo operations remained steady during the second quarter of the year. The gross takeoff weight, a pivotal metric for measuring air freight performance, exhibited minimal change compared to the previous year. This consistency highlights the airport’s resilience and adaptability in the face of changing economic landscapes.

Towards financial recovery


Although the quarterly results indicate a positive step forward in the recovery journey post-pandemic, Winnipeg Airports Authority acknowledges that fully restoring its previously robust financial position will require several more years.

In the second quarter of 2023, WAA’s consolidated revenue witnessed an impressive increase of nearly 21 percent, reaching $39.9 million.

Earnings before interest, depreciation, and taxes also experienced growth, rising from $16.19 million to $19.76 million when compared to the same period in 2022.

Inclusivity and community engagement


Winnipeg Airports Authority is demonstrating its commitment to making the airport a welcoming and inclusive space. The introduction of Pride-themed Hug Rugs in the Arrivals Hall during June, coinciding with Pride Season, is a testament to this renewed focus.

Collaborating with the Rainbow Resource Centre, WAA is conducting education sessions for employees and identifying areas within the terminal where unnecessarily gendered language can be eliminated.

This endeavor is part of a broader initiative to create a more inclusive environment for all travelers.

Over the past three months, travelers at YWG had the unique opportunity to engage with an exhibit presented by the Manitoba Métis Federation.

The exhibit showcases items that represent the Red River Métis way of life, a partnership that aligns with WAA’s commitment to reflecting the community’s diversity and heritage.

Future endeavors


The second quarter was filled with significant achievements and announcements from WAA. The launch of a new Accessibility Plan underscores the organization’s dedication to better supporting travelers with disabilities.

Additionally, WAA’s Annual Public Meeting in April marked the unveiling of a new vision and mission, along with refreshed values and strategic priorities, signifying the organization’s forward-looking approach.

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