Passenger numbers soaring
July sets new record for number of passengers using Charlottetown Airport
“To see numbers like this one year later is certainly encouraging, and hopefully it bodes well for future schedule increases as well with our carriers.” Doug Newson
The numbers keep getting better for the Charlottetown Airport as it hit another record for passenger traffic in July.
Statistics from July show 52,754 passengers used the airport last month, which was the most ever in one month.
Charlottetown Airport Authority CEO Doug Newson said the numbers in June and July were up about 10 per cent compared to 2016.
“The summer numbers were great,” he said.
Overall, year-to-date traffic at the airport is up four per cent.
Newson said it is a strong year for tourism in P.E.I., and the airport is benefiting from it.
“We’re certainly pleased to see that extra seats added by Air Canada have been filling up,” he said.
This year Air Canada added bigger planes, including on the Toronto route, which has increased the airline’s seat capacity, Newson said.
August 2016 set the previous one-month record with 52,101 passengers, and Newson said the airport authority thinks August might surpass the new record set in July.
“To see numbers like this one year later is certainly encouraging, and hopefully it bodes well for future schedule increases as well with our carriers,” he said.
Although the overall numbers have been improving at the airport, there will be a change for some Islanders looking to go south this winter.
While Air Canada has added capacity through the airport, there will be a change to flights with WestJet this winter.
WestJet is ending its non-stop flight from Charlottetown to Orlando for the 2017-2018 winter schedule.
A statement from WestJet said the airline bases its service, in part, on supply and demand with regular reviews to ensure it is meeting customers’ needs while maintaining profitable flying.
There wasn’t enough demand to maintain the route, the statement said.
“We appreciate and recognize that this is unfortunate news for the community affected.”
The statement also said passengers will have the ability to connect to Orlando through Toronto.
WestJet added the flight to Orlando from Charlottetown in 2015.
Newson said the Orlando market was one the airport had been going after for a while, but there were factors out of its control, like the dollar and the political climate in the U.S. that probably affected bookings.
“I think it’s disappointing,” he said.
Newson also said it was a unique service and the Orlando flights were a small piece of the airport’s bookings.
Doug Newson, Charlottetown Airport Authority CEO