few clouds
January 24, 2008 | Air Service, YEG News Releases

International passenger traffic up an incredible 85 per cent over 2006

EDMONTON — A record-breaking 6.1 million passengers flew to and from Edmonton International Airport (EIA) in 2007, an increase of 16.3 per cent over 2006.

This is the second year in a row that EIA has led all major Canadian airports in passenger growth. Last year, passenger traffic increased by 15.5 per cent over 2005. In just two years, the airport has served an additional 1.5 million passengers.

“Edmonton International has grown from a small, regional airport to a medium-sized international hub,” said Reg Milley, President and CEO of Edmonton Airports. “The incredible growth in the number of passengers using Edmonton International as their gateway of choice to other destinations is evidence that our airport is coming of age.”

EIA experienced significant growth in passenger volumes across all market segments during 2007, with international growth leading the way at 85.4 per cent, followed by transborder (travel between Canada and the U.S.) at 16.8 per cent, and domestic at 13.5 per cent.

Edmonton International Airport Passenger Statistics 2005 — 2007 

                         2005            2006          % increase          2007          % increase
Domestic       3,772,952     4,349,081              15.2            4,937,099              13.5
Transborder     594,803        693,378              16.6               809,991              16.8
International    143,696        171,533              19.5               318,027              85.4
Total            4,511, 451     5,213,992             15.5             6,065,117              16.3

The impressive growth in international traffic is due in large part to the success of Air Canada’s daily non-stop service between Edmonton and London-Heathrow (U.K.).

The increase in passengers at EIA is impressive even by world standards. Airports Council International reports a 5.7 per cent increase in worldwide passenger volume for the first 11 months of 2007, the most recent statistic available, placing EIA well ahead of global trends.

Emerging regional and international hub
Growth in passengers using EIA as a gateway to connect to other destinations has been particularly strong. In the past 12 months, the number of passengers using the airport as a connection hub to other destinations has increased by 36 per cent from 569,347 connecting passengers over a 12-month period to 774,082 passengers.

Passengers from Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Yellowknife and Saskatoon using EIA to connect to other destinations increased by 33 per cent in the past year, following 44 per cent growth the previous year (2006).

Overall, passenger levels (EIA as final destination and connections through EIA combined) from these four important markets increased by 10.6 per cent in the past 12 months.

Capacity increases fuel growth
In 2007, airlines made significant increases to capacity (seats available) to/from EIA. The number of international seats increased by 86 per cent over 2006, followed by transborder with 16 per cent growth, and domestic with nine per cent growth.

Several new non-stop destinations were announced in 2007, bringing the total non-stop destinations served by EIA to 52, including 17 daily non-stops to 10 destinations in the United States. This winter, the airport had its best-ever service to sun destinations, with 26 non-stops per week to 11 destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean.

“We have more air carriers, more non-stop destinations, and higher service levels than at any time in our history,” said Milley. “Airlines have responded to regional demand for air service by increasing capacity and Edmonton and northwestern Canadian travellers are enjoying the best air service in our region’s history.”

2008 outlook remains strong
Edmonton Airports is forecasting above-industry-average passenger growth in 2008, and airlines are expected to continue to add capacity and routes to the Edmonton Region market. Several new or expanded services are already on tap for 2008.

– January 7, United Airlines added an additional daily non-stop to San Francisco.
– March 30, United Airlines will add an additional daily non-stop to Denver.
– May 18, WestJet begins new daily non-stop seasonal service to Ottawa.
– May 18, WestJet launches new direct (one-stop via Toronto) service to Quebec City.

– 30 –

Edmonton International Airport is Canada’s fastest-growing major airport.

Edmonton Airports Corporate Communications
Jim Rudolph,
Phone: (780) 890-8454
Cell: (780) 717-5117