YVR traffic remains below pre-pandemic level

Passenger count in the coming week set to be 13.7 per cent below what it was in 2019

October was the fourth slowest month at Vancouver International Airport pre-pandemic | Sandor Gyarmati

The Vancouver Airport Authority expects the daily passenger count this week at its Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to be about 86.3 per cent its 2019 level, the company said today.

Originally, it gave BIV incorrect data that said that it expects the airport's daily traffic this week to be about 93.7 per cent of where it was in 2019.

B.C.'s tourism sector is expecting travel to normalize now that Canada has axed its COVID-19 travel restrictions. Another driver for tourism is that the U.S. dollar has been very strong, compared with the Canadian loonie. The Canadian dollar rose above US$0.81 last October. It recently traded below US$0.73.

The airport's traffic has rebounded substantially from the depths of the pandemic, when some months, such as April 2020, saw the airport operate at a mere 3.3 per cent of the previous year's passenger traffic.

Pre-pandemic, YVR welcomed an average of 66,116 passengers daily in the week ended Oct. 20, for a total of 462,818, according to VAA data. This year, the average daily count for the week ended Oct. 23 is expected to be 57,071, for a total of 399,497 in the week, according to the VAA.

October was the fourth slowest month at the airport in 2019, with 2,064,711 passengers who either boarded or disembarked planes. That total was higher than November, January and February three years ago.

One thing that may encourage outbound travel is the VAA's new YVR Express program, which allows travellers to reserve a spot to be checked by security ahead of their flight to the U.S.

gkorstrom@biv.com

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