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July 02, 2007 | General

January 25, 2007

Cargo volumes up 14.1 per cent

Edmonton — A record-breaking 5.2 million passengers flew to and from Edmonton International Airport (EIA) in 2006, an increase of 15.5 per cent over 2005. In just two years, EIA — Canada’s fastest-growing airport — has served an additional 1.1 million passengers.

The sharp increase in demand for air travel through Edmonton is fuelled by significant growth in passenger volumes across all market segments during 2006, with international growth leading the way at 19.5 per cent, followed by transborder (travel between Canada and the U.S.) at 16.6 per cent, and domestic at 15.2 per cent.

“A strong local and regional economy, and the best air service in our region’s history are driving the robust passenger growth,” says Reg Milley, President and CEO of Edmonton Airports. “EIA has arrived as a major Canadian hub airport.”

The increase in passengers at Edmonton International Airport is also impressive by world standards. Airports Council International reports a 3.6% increase in worldwide passenger volume for the 12 months ending in November 2006, placing EIA well ahead of global trends.

August 2006 was the busiest month ever at EIA with 508,207 passengers — exceeding 500,000 passengers in a single month for the first time ever. December 2006 was the second busiest month on record with 469,609 passengers.

Edmonton International Airport Passenger Statistics 2004 — 2006

2004             2005          % increase         2006           % increase
Domestic       3,423,024     3,772,952    10.2                  4,346,788    15.2
Transborder   531,440        594,803      11.9                  693,378       16.6
International  127,101        143,696      13.1                  171,745       19.5
Total             4,081,565      4,511, 451  10.5                  5,211,911     15.5

EIA’s northern gateway role strengthened

Edmonton International Airport is also growing as a regional hub. Passengers from Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Yellowknife and Saskatoon using EIA to connect to other destinations increased by 44% (year-to-date, October 2006). Overall, passenger levels (EIA as final destination and connections through EIA combined) from these four important markets was up by 23% (year-to-date, October 2006) over 2005. Passenger traffic from Grande Prairie led the way with 54% (year-to-date, October 2006) growth.

“We are proud to be fulfilling our vision to be the North’s preferred gateway to the world, and the world’s preferred gateway to the North,” says Milley. “We will continue to work with the airlines and regional partner airports to further strengthen Edmonton as a transportation hub for passengers and cargo in Alberta and across Northern and Western Canada.”

EIA is Canada’s premier northern gateway serving 10 northern communities.

2007 outlook is strong

Building on new routes and passenger capacity established in 2006, the outlook for continued passenger growth in 2007 is strong. Edmonton Airports is forecasting above-industry-average passenger growth in 2007, which would see Edmonton International Airport easily surpass 5.5 million passengers by year end.

Thirteen new non-stop destinations were announced in 2006, bringing the total non-stop destinations served by EIA to 48, including 11 non-stop destinations in the United States. In the past 12 months, Air Canada added non-stop service from Edmonton to Kelowna, Victoria, Yellowknife, Los Angeles, Montreal, Punta Cana, Cancun, Las Vegas, and London (UK). WestJet added non-stops to Abbotsford, Halifax, Las Vegas, and Comox.

Robust cargo growth

EIA cargo business is also benefiting from Alberta’s strong economic climate and the growing need for fast and reliable air cargo services. In 2006, cargo volumes increased by 14.1 per cent over 2005.

“We see cargo as the next major growth opportunity,” says Milley. “We will continue to foster the concept of Port Alberta, transforming EIA into a multi-modal cargo hub.”

Passengers are reminded that EIA is a busy metropolitan airport and that they should allow enough time to get to the airport, park, check-in and clear pre-board screening. “The days when you could come to EIA 40 minutes before your flight are long over,” adds Milley.

Edmonton Airports’ vision is: To be the North’s preferred gateway to the World, and the World’s preferred gateway to the North.

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