“We had another record setting year thanks to great support from our community and a number of new and expanded routes,” says Joyce Carter, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) President & CEO.
“Compared to the previous year, our 2015 passenger numbers were up 1.1%. And we’re pleased considering our very challenging start to the year with nearly 1,400 flights cancelled due to severe weather in the first half.
"Passenger numbers rebounded in the latter half of the year with the addition of several new domestic routes.”
The largest segment of air service traffic was in the domestic sector, which was up by 2.7% over 2014 (3,042,188 passengers).
The increase is due largely to additional routes that launched in 2015 including Air Canada rouge non-stop seasonal service to Calgary, WestJet Encore regional daily non-stop flights to Deer Lake, Gander and Sydney, as well as additional capacity to St John’s and Ottawa.
In other sectors, international traffic increased by 1.4%, and as American-based airlines continued to rationalise and consolidate operations in the Canadian market, transborder traffic (non-stop flights to/from the US) decreased by 11.5%.
“We are optimistic about 2016,” says Ian Arthur, HIAA's chief commercial officer.
“Several airlines have announced expanded service to critical destinations. WestJet will begin service to Boston in April and has extended its summer service to Glasgow, Condor will fly to Munich, Air Canada rouge returns with service to Calgary, and ASL Airlines France has extended its seasonal service to Paris and Dublin.”
Air cargo also grew marginally in 2015 with 32,020 metric tonnes processed.
Much of that cargo is live lobster and with several foreign trade agreements signed or in the works the future is positive for increased seafood exports.
In 2015, Halifax Stanfield was served by 17 scheduled and charter passenger airlines flying to 43 non-stop destinations.
The airport served an average of over 170 flights each day to various points within Canada, the United States, Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean.