The Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) announced it served a record 351,530 passengers in 2015, an increase of 10 per cent over the previous year. YQQ has grown an impressive 90 per cent since the opening of the new terminal building in 2004, with 2015 being the busiest year yet for the airport. The previous passenger record was set in 2012 with almost 328,000 guests moving through the terminal.
“We are simply ecstatic to see such a high rate of growth for the year at YQQ,” said Comox Valley Airport CEO Fred Bigelow. “These record breaking numbers are directly attributable to Air Canada’s new service to Vancouver and the additional capacity and scheduling improvements by WestJet and WestJet Encore on our Calgary route.”
Added flights, partners in 2015
Additional daily service to Calgary with WestJet Encore began in January 2015 and provided scheduling improvements by adding additional frequency to WestJet’s Calgary hub from Comox. Then in May, Air Canada began its twice-daily service from Comox to Vancouver, providing additional connection options within the Air Canada route network and a continued code share arrangement with Central Mountain Air.
“A key focus of the Comox Valley Airport in 2015 was to increase the number of same-day connections available from YQQ,” explained Bigelow. “It is now easier than ever for passengers to start their journey from the Comox Valley Airport.”
Air Canada’s new Vancouver route offers about 30 connections for Comox passengers, including US, Asia and UK destinations.
WestJet’s added capacity opened up more than 14 additional WestJet connections for YQQ passengers, including sunspot destinations like Varadero, Orlando, Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale and Cabo San Lucas.
While YQQ does not expect to see such a high rate of growth sustained in the coming years, Bigelow says he is confident of the Comox Valley Airport’s position moving forward.
“We are very fortunate in this economic climate to have experienced growth in 2015. Particularly given the elimination of weekly energy sector charter flights and large scale layoffs in Alberta that can have ripple effects in our community,” explained Bigelow. “We are prepared to withstand some impact to our future growth as the economy in Alberta finds its footing. However, we believe the demographics of the Comox Valley, combined with our great air service options, will help us to ride out this turbulent period.”
Ten-year historical annual passenger loads
2006 – 232,612
2007 – 310,450
2008 – 304,069
2009 – 289,978
2010 – 296,567
2011 – 308,937
2012 – 327,827
2013 – 313,186
2014 – 318,830
2015 – 351,530