Air transport: business is picking up

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For the first 15 days of May 2022, CATSA screened* 1,813,036 air travel passengers at the 15 largest Canadian airports. This represents 74% of the volume for the comparable period in 2019.

From unofficial sources, I am told bookings for summer and fall 2020 are exceeding expectations. Airlines are adding capacity and flights every week. Sign that does not lie, I receive several press releases per week announcing new connections. Air transport is regaining its dynamism and here are some of the new routes announced recently.

Air Transat heads for California

After adding the Quebec-London route last week, Air Transat is now turning to California. Last Tuesday, it inaugurated Montreal-Los Angeles, this connection will be operated until October with three flights per week. Today, the airline is inaugurating its first Montreal-San Francisco flight. The frequency on this link will be twice a week. Travelers will therefore have the possibility of arriving in one of the two Californian cities and leaving from the other.

Air France in Quebec

Last Tuesday, it was Air France’s turn to land in Quebec to connect it to Paris. The frequency is three weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The connection is provided by A330-300s whose business class seats recline flat. Air France is therefore the first airline to offer business class seats on direct Quebec-Paris flights. It will be necessary to see to what extent it will be able to attract high-end customers in this market. For airlines, business is picking up and now is the time to plan for future expansions. We can finally start talking about things other than the effects of COVID-19. IT WAS TIME !


What is measured

CATSA publishes two figures, the first is for the number of passengers at the eight largest Canadian airports: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax. The second figure includes the first eight airports plus Victoria, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Regina, Toronto-Billy-Bishop, Quebec and St. John’s. This data excludes aircrew and ground staff who are screened by CATSA.

CATSA data only includes passengers who boarded at a Canadian airport. Passengers from abroad are therefore not included in these statistics. But it is still good information that allows for reliable comparisons.