Airlines’ revenues have increased, according to Statistics Canada, but remain about half of pre-pandemic levels.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) recorded the second highest number of flights – over 19,000 – at all Canadian airports in October, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.
The only airport in Canada with more flights than YVR was Toronto’s Leter B. Pearson with just over 23,000.
The number of flights to Canada in October was 14.5% higher than in October 2020, but still nearly 22% lower than before the pandemic.
Passenger volumes increased across Canada, with October statistics showing 3.1 million people took a flight, slightly lower than in peak travel season, while 3.2 million people flew in August.
The number of passengers traveling in October was triple that of a year ago, but it was still only about 47% of the levels before the pandemic in October 2019.
In June, there were only 844,000 people flying in Canada.
In fact, statistics compiled by the City of Richmond show that YVR’s passenger volume from January to September has declined by around 80% compared to the equivalent period in 2019.
Revenues for the major airlines (Tier 1 carriers) fell from about $ 367 million in June to about $ 917 million in October.
This is still well below the $ 1.9 billion earned by airlines in October 2019.
Travel industry “decimated”: Tourism Richmond
The travel industry, however, continues to be “decimated” by the pandemic, and any business it had in 2021 was a result of its constant pivot, according to Nancy Small, CEO of Tourism Richmond.
City statistics show Richmond hotel revenues in the first eight months of 2021 were 35% below 2019 levels.
This is, however, 68% higher than the same period in 2020, the year when the pandemic struck and international and domestic travel were severely reduced.
But Richmond hotels have had more consistent business, compared to others across the province that have seen their ups and downs, Small added.
She said this was likely due to domestic leisure travel, a small amount of business travel, for example, cinema and construction, small sports tournaments (until banned) and long-term contracts as well as hotels used for quarantine purposes and for refugees from the house.