Aviation
Monthly Aircraft Movements: Major airports ? NAV CANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations, December 2015

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Release date: February 29, 2016

Analysis

Aircraft take-offs and landings at Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations decreased 7.1% in December 2015 from the same month the previous year. These 91 airports reported 331,105 movements during the month compared with 356,523 movements in December 2014.

Decreases in both itinerant movements (flights from one airport to another) and local movements (flights that remain in the vicinity of the airport) contributed to the overall decline. Itinerant movements fell 4.7% to 260,387 while local movements dropped 15.2% to 70,718.

Overall, the majority of airports reported fewer movements in December 2015. The largest decreases were recorded at Victoria International, British Columbia (-2,721 movements), Calgary/Springbank, Alberta (-2,298), Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario (-2,179), London, Ontario (-2,098), and Boundary Bay, British Columbia (-1,910). On a year-over-year basis, Montréal/St-Hubert, Quebec recorded 2,082 more movements and Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier, Ontario had an increase of 1,278 movements. A number of airports in southern Ontario and western Quebec were impacted when a winter snowstorm swept through the region on December 29.

In December 2015, itinerant movements dropped 4.7% from the same month a year earlier as over two-thirds of airports reported decreases in itinerant movements. The largest reductions were at Edmonton International, Alberta (-1,311 movements), Boundary Bay (-1,076) and Kitchener/Waterloo (-871). Montréal/St-Hubert (+804) and Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario (+593) recorded the largest increases over the same time period.

Local movements dropped 15.2% (-12,657 movements) as 58 airports reported fewer movements in December 2015. Year-over-year variations ranged from an increase of 1,278 movements (+46.1%) at Montréal/St-Hubert to a drop of 2,490 movements (-52.4%) at Victoria International.

Itinerant movements: domestic, transborder and international

Domestic itinerant movements (within Canada) fell to 208,806 in December 2015, down 5.3% from the same month the previous year. Lower movements at Edmonton International (-1,161 movements) and Boundary Bay (-1,054) were sufficient to offset increases at Montréal/St-Hubert (+784), Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier (+680) and Sioux Lookout, Ontario (+501).  The rise in activity (+24.6%) at Sioux Lookout was primarily due to an expansion of services and routes offered by a number of air carriers.

During the month, sixty-two airports reported 38,034 transborder (between Canada and the United States) itinerant movements, down 4.1% from the level recorded in December 2014. The largest decreases were reported at Vancouver International, British Columbia (-302 movements) and Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier (-226). The largest gain was observed at Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ontario (+124).

In December 2015, thirty-nine airports reported a total of 13,547 other international itinerant movements, up 5.0% from December 2014.  Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International was the busiest airport with 6,028 movements, an increase of 4.0%, followed by Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International, Quebec (2,471 movements) and Vancouver International (1,945). Together, these three airports represented 77% of all other international itinerant movements during the month.

Factors influencing the data

Having already impacted travel at both Chicago and Detroit airports in the U.S. Midwest, a major snowstorm hit central and eastern Canada on December 29th, 2015 causing delays and cancellations in southern Ontario and western Quebec, including Toronto, Ottawa, and Montréal airports.

On December 27th, 2015, Air China launched non-stop service from Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to Havana, Cuba. The flights will operate three times per week.

On December 19th, 2015, Porter Airlines began seasonal service between Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Melbourne, Florida. The flight will operate once a week.

WestJet began seasonal service between Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and Orlando, Florida on December 18th, 2015. The flight will operate once a week.

On December 17th, 2015, National Airlines inaugurated a twice-weekly service between Windsor, Ontario and Orlando, Florida (Sanford Airport).

On December 10th, 2015, Air New Zealand increased its services between Vancouver International Airport and Auckland, New Zealand from five times per week to daily service.

On December 10th, 2015, WestJet began seasonal service between Waterloo, Ontario and Orlando, Florida. The flight will operate once a week.

Aeromexico launched a daily non-stop service on December 9th, 2015 between Vancouver International Airport and Mexico City, Mexico.

On December 1st, 2015, North Star Air expanded their services in Northern Ontario with the introduction of three new routes. These routes connect a number of smaller communities with Red Lake, Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay.  

On November 3rd, 2015, Air Canada launched non-stop service from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The flights will operate three times per week.

On November 1st, 2015, Air Canada launched non-stop service from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport to Delhi, India. The flights will operate four times per week.

On October 29th, 2015, WestJet launched non-stop service from Abbotsford, British Columbia to Las Vegas, Nevada. The flights will operate twice-weekly.

On September 29th, 2015, Air China, in cooperation with Air Canada, launched a new direct flight connecting Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport to Beijing, China. The flights will be operated by Air China initially three times per week.

Bearskin Airlines, on September 28th, 2015, rolled out 23 new weekly non-stop flights between Sudbury Airport and Timmins, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Porter Airlines inaugurated a non-stop flight from Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Pittsburgh on September 21st, 2015. The airline will operate two daily weekday flights from Toronto. Weekend service includes one roundtrip on Saturday and two on Sunday.

On September 8th, 2015, WestJet began a new non-stop service between Calgary International Airport and Houston, Texas. The airline will operate six flights per week.

Air China Cargo, on September 3rd, 2015, launched service to Edmonton International from Shanghai, China and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. The flights will operate six times a week, with three flights from Dallas and three from Shanghai. 

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre Inc. reported 6,654 fires covering 3,953,056 hectares as of August 31, 2015, more fires and a bit more area than a month earlier. In 2014, the agency had recorded 4,681 fires encompassing 4,549,459 hectares by the end of August.

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre Inc. reported 5,766 fires covering 3,889,663 hectares as of July 31, 2015. This represents an increase from the previous year when 3,331 fires and 1,606,278 hectares were recorded. In several cases, particularly in Western Canada, air support was deployed to assist ground crews.

WestJet Encore, on July 15th, 2015, launched new daily non-stop flights from Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport to Deer Lake Regional Airport and Gander International Airport in Newfoundland and Labrador, and to Sydney Airport, Nova Scotia. The airline also inaugurated new daily non-stop service between Moncton/Greater Moncton International Airport, New Brunswick, and Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, Ontario.

On July 7th, 2015, the Greater Moncton International Airport and KF Aerospace announced a new cargo service. KF Aerospace routes will include four times a week service between Moncton and Europe via Brussels (DC10-30F), and future expansion will see daily service between Toronto and Atlantic Canada via Greater Moncton International Airport. 

In early July 2015, a rare, lingering fog and thick ice caused major delays in food shipments to Iqaluit, Nunavut. Cargo planes and combo planes (planes that carry cargo and passengers) were not able to fly in or out of Iqaluit Airport.

Dozens of flights out of Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport were cancelled July 3rd, 2015 due to a labour disruption between the airlines and their fuelling companies.

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre Inc. reported 4,076 fires covering 1,352,282 hectares as of June 30, 2015. This represents an increase from the previous year when 1,977 fires and 414,722 hectares were recorded. In several cases, particularly in Western Canada, air support was deployed to assist ground crews.

Air Canada rouge, on June 27th, 2015, began a new non-stop daily seasonal service from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport to Abbotsford International Airport.

Air Canada, on June 5th, 2015, further expanded its global network with routes from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International to Amsterdam and from Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to Mexico City.

On June 1st, 2015, Air Canada launched its new non-stop daily service between Calgary International, Alberta and Northwest Regional Airport Terrace-Kitimat, British Columbia.

On June 1st, 2015, the main runway at St. John’s International Airport closed to allow for several upgrades, including resurfacing and the addition of new lighting, with in-tandem work by NAV CANADA in establishing the new Category 3 instrument landing systems (Cat 3 ILS). The closure of the runway may result in flights being delayed or diverted. The runway is expected to reopen, in part, September 30th, 2015.

First Air announced it is increasing the number of flights from Edmonton International, Alberta to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories from six per week to nine per week, with an additional flight on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The service will start June 1st, 2015.

On May 30th and 31st, 2015, Fort McMurray Airport experienced numerous flight cancellations and delays due to a nearby fire in Saprae Creek that caused airspace to be restricted for a portion of the airport’s runway. 

On May 29th, 2015, WestJet began seasonal service from Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport, Nova Scotia to Glasgow, Scotland. The service will run until October 24, 2015.

Firefighting crews battled a large forest fire southwest of Prince George, British Columbia in mid-May 2015. More than 200 fire personnel, 13 helicopters, 30 pieces of heavy equipment and eight air tankers were involved in battling the fire.     

Air Canada rouge inaugurated a new route from Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Quebec to Venice Marco Polo Airport, Italy on May 15th, 2015. The service will operate twice-weekly.

Kenmore Air, an airline based in Seattle, Washington, suspended its service to Nanaimo Airport, British Columbia on May 4th, 2015.

On May 1st, 2015, WestJet began seasonal service from St. John’s International Airport, Newfoundland and Labrador, to Dublin, Ireland. This service will run until October 24th, 2015.

On May 1st, 2015, Air Canada expanded its international and domestic routes at four Canadian airports. New services were launched from Vancouver International Airport, British Columbia to Osaka, Japan and to Comox Airport, British Columbia. As well, new routes started from Calgary International Airport, Alberta to Nanaimo Airport and to Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport.

On April 23rd, 2015, the main runway at Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport became fully operational after an Air Canada flight crashed on March 29th. The runway was completely closed for about 10 days during this period.

On March 29th, 2015, Air France launched its inaugural flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Vancouver International Airport. The flights will run three days a week and five days a week in summer.

Major snowstorms struck Atlantic Canada in mid-March 2015, forcing flight delays and cancellations.

Effective February 28th, 2015, United Airlines ended flights between Denver International and Regina International, Saskatchewan and Saskatoon/John G. Diefenbaker International, Saskatchewan airports. United flew two flights each day into the Saskatchewan cities.

On February 16th, 2015, Kelowna International Airport, British Columbia experienced flight delays and cancellations due to fog.

On February 2nd, 2015, a formidable winter storm hit the Greater Toronto Area forcing flight cancellations at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Ontario and Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Ontario.

Significant winter storms struck Atlantic Canada in February 2015 forcing numerous flight cancellations and delays. During the same time, eastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec recorded colder-than-normal temperatures.

A lake-effect snow band off Lake Ontario hit Halton and Hamilton, Ontario, forcing about 40 flight cancellations at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport on January 26th, 2015.

January 2015 was marked by extreme cold, heavy snow and freezing rain conditions across Canada forcing delays and flight cancellations at many airports.

Air Canada launched a new non-stop seasonal service from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Air Canada Express will operate four weekly flights between December 18th, 2014 and March 30th, 2015.

Air Canada inaugurated new non-stop service between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The new service will be offered three days a week starting December 12th, 2014.

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