The Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) announced Thursday that it served 313,186 passengers in 2013.
While this represents a 4.5-per-cent drop from the previous year, the airport continues to serve more passengers than it did prior to the economic downturn.
“We are seeing our numbers begin to stabilize after a decade of spikes and dips,” explained Comox Valley Airport CEO Fred Bigelow. “Following our terminal expansion we experienced a period of significant growth, then a drop during the economic downturn, followed by market recovery, more growth and now what we think will be a period of stabilization.”
According to Bigelow, the loss of two Air Transat routes to Cancun and Puerto Vallarta in 2012 was the greatest contributing factor to the drop in passenger numbers for the 2013 calendar year. The Mexico market continues to be served out of YQQ by WestJet and numbers on the route remain healthy, though additional capacity remains for increased sunspot service.
“Because our market is maturing, in order to see any significant growth in our passenger numbers we would need to obtain additional air service,” Bigelow explained. “While we are confident that our passenger numbers will remain healthy, and we continue to find ourselves in a positive financial situation with strong net revenues, we also know that people in this community would appreciate more air service options.”
The Comox Valley Airport continues to work towards obtaining a new sunspot route to fill the capacity left by Air Transat. In the longer term its goal is to obtain a direct service to a hub airport in the United States that will allow passengers to access connecting services to U.S. destinations on the same ticket.
For more information about YQQ’s strategic direction, visit www.comoxairport.com under About Us/Reports.
The Comox Valley Airport is the second-largest airport on Vancouver Island. YQQ offers daily direct flights to Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver and seasonal service to Puerto Vallarta.
The Comox Valley Airport Commission operates the civil aviation facilities at YQQ, including the terminal and apron. The airfield and its associated systems are operated by the Canadian Air Force at CFB Comox on a continuous 24-hour basis.
— Comox Valley Airport Commission