The FINANCIAL — On July 31, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) released its passenger numbers for the first six months of 2017, demonstrating a successful first half of 2017 with continued growth across all major sectors, including a record breaking spike in the Latin America market.
YVR has seen over 419,000 passengers travel through Latin America in the first six months of 2017, a 25.3 per cent year over year increase.
The Canadian government’s decision to remove the tourist visa for Mexican visitors has led to strong growth in that market. The Mexican Embassy in Canada expects over 300,000 Mexican tourists to visit Canada in 2017, with Vancouver making its debut on the top 20 list for Mexicans’ favorite summer vacation spots, according to YVR.
“It has been an exciting first half of the year for YVR with the addition of nine new services since January,” said YVR’s President & CEO Craig Richmond. “We expect this momentum to continue through the latter half of year, as Air Canada continues their expansion of their transpacific hub out of YVR, and we see our tourism sector grow in markets like Mexico. Our continued success not only provides more travel options for our community, but contributes to the economic growth to our province.”
Year-Over-Year Passenger Growth Highlights: January – June, 2017
9.2 per cent increase in International traffic
4.3 per cent increase in Domestic traffic
12.7 per cent increase in Transborder (US) traffic
International Traffic (Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe)
From January to June 2017, international traffic (excluding the US) increased by 9.2 per cent over the same period in 2016.
Latin America has been a leading market in the first half of 2017 with a 25.3 per cent passenger increase, largely attributed to the removal of the visa requirements for Mexican visitors to Canada. Aeromexico began double daily service to Mexico in May and was a major contributor to growth. In addition, Sunwing and Air Canada showed strong growth in the sector with increased frequencies to major resort destinations. We anticipate this market to continue to grow throughout the year as seen with WestJet’s recent announcement of new service to Huatulco, Mexico.
The Asia Pacific sector continued with an impressive double-digit growth rate at 19.9 per cent driven by the full-year effect of Air Canada’s Delhi and Brisbane services, launched last October and June. YVR also celebrated the launch of Capital Airlines and their new service to Vancouver and Hangzhou, via Qingdao, along with Cathay Pacific’s additional three times weekly service to Hong Kong and the launch of Hong Kong Airlines with daily service between Vancouver and Hong Kong.
Europe sector was up by 2.6 per cent over the same period in 2016. This increase was driven by maturation of WestJet’s London Gatwick service, in addition to Air Canada’s new daily service to Frankfurt and Air Canada Rouge’s new service to London Gatwick.
Transborder (US) sector was up 5.3 per cent over the same period last year, driven by Air Canada newly-launched daily services to Boston, Denver, and Dallas, and the full year effect of Chicago, San Diego and San Jose services. WestJet also had a positive year over year impact as it grew its seat capacity with increased frequencies to San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The Domestic sector increased 3.4 per cent over 2016. This increase is attributed to capacity increases from both Air Canada and West Jet, and strong consumer demand.
“Looking forward, YVR is expected to see a steady rise in passenger growth as Air Canada recently launched services to Dallas, Denver, Frankfurt, Taipei, and Air Canada Rouge’s new services to London Gatwick and Nagoya continue to mature over the next six months,” said Craig Richmond. “I would like to extend a big thank you to Air Canada for their work in launching these six new services this year, and for continuing to build their preferred transpacific hub at YVR.”
Air Canada will launch new services to Yellowknife and Melbourne in December, marking the first ever direct, non-stop flight from Canada to this Australian city.