Monthly Aircraft Movements: Major airports – NAV CANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations, May 2016
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In May 2016, there were 515,120 aircraft take-offs and landings at the 91 Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations compared with 515,538 movements in May 2015.
The gains registered in local movements (flights that remain in the vicinity of the airport) were offset by the reduction in itinerant movements (flights from one airport to another). Local movements rose 6,765 to reach 154,931 while itinerant movements declined 7,183 to 360,189 in May 2016.
During the month, a wildfire engulfed the Fort McMurray area and resulted in the airport temporarily suspending all commercial air traffic. While the airport continued to operate as a key transportation infrastructure for emergency operations aircraft movements were strongly impacted as the level of activity dropped 84% from those reported in May 2015.
Overall, the majority of airports reported fewer movements as compared to the same month the previous year. Among those airports reporting declines the largest decrease was recorded at Fort McMurray, Alberta (-5,655) movements. On a year over year basis, the largest increases were recorded at Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario (+2,705) and Oshawa, Ontario (+2,203).
In May 2016, itinerant movements declined 2.0% from the same month a year earlier as more than half the airports reported fewer movements. In addition to the reductions at Fort McMurray (-4,983 movements) large declines were also recorded at Fredericton International, New Brunswick (-1,339), Calgary International, Alberta (-1,318) and Brandon Municipal, Manitoba (-747). Oshawa (+1,855) and Kitchener Waterloo (+975) recorded the largest increases over the same time period.
Local movements rose 4.6% (+6,765 movements) as 52 airports reported more movements in May 2016. Year-over-year variations ranged from an increase of 1,730 movements (+27.4%) at Kitchener/Waterloo to a drop of 1,406 movements (-15.8%) at Montréal/St-Hubert, Quebec.
Itinerant movements: domestic, transborder and international
Domestic itinerant movements (within Canada) fell to 307,015 in May 2016, down 2.3% from the same month the previous year. Lower movements at Fort McMurray (-4,980 movements), Fredericton International, (-1,332) and Calgary International, (-1,235) were sufficient to offset gains at Oshawa (+1,846), Kitchener/Waterloo (+995) and Fort St. John, British Columbia (+912).
During the month, 77 airports reported 40,690 transborder (between Canada and the United States) itinerant movements, down 1.0% from the level recorded in May 2015. The largest reductions in movements occurred at Edmonton International, Alberta (-307 movements), Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International, Ontario (-145) and Hamilton, Ontario (-139). The largest increases were reported at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario (+390) and Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Ontario (+113).
In May 2016, 46 airports reported a total of 12,484 other international itinerant movements, up 3.4% from May 2015. Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International was the busiest airport with 5,968 movements, an increase of 2.2%, followed by Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International, Quebec (2,331 movements), and Vancouver International, British Columbia (1,968). Together, these three airports represented 82% of all other international itinerant movements during the month.
Factors which may have influenced the data
As of May 31st the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre Inc. (CIFFC) reported a total 1,960 fires covering 855,005 hectares across Canada in 2016. The majority of these occurred in Alberta, which recorded 525 fires encompassing 595,709 hectares, approximately 70% of the total area covered by forest fires nationwide. During the same period in 2015 the agency recorded more fires (2,503) across Canada, however the coverage was not as widespread (239,313 hectares).
On May 19th, 2016, Air Canada Rouge launched its new seasonal non-stop service between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Ontario and London-Gatwick, United Kingdom. The flight will operate daily during the summer.
Starting May 6th and May 7th, 2016, WestJet launched its new non-stop service between six Canadian cities and London-Gatwick, Flights from Vancouver International, British Columbia, Calgary International, Alberta and Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario airports began May 6th, while service from Edmonton International Airport, Alberta, Winnipeg-James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, Manitoba and St. John’s International Airport, Newfoundland and Labrador began May 7th.
On May 5th, 2016, the Fort McMurray Airport Authority suspended commercial air traffic as a result of forest fires in the surrounding area. The airport, however, continued to operate as a key transportation infrastructure for emergency operations and the transportation of food and supplies for first responders and evacuees.
On May 4th, 2016, WOW a low-cost Icelandic airline began flights from Reykjavik, Iceland to Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International, Quebec, offering flights 5 times per week. On May 11th, 2016, flights began between Reykjavik, Iceland and Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International. The airline will start with service 4 times per week increasing to 5 times per week as of July 9th.
On May 1st, 2016, British Airways introduced the A380 on their existing London Heathrow, United Kingdom to Vancouver International Airport route.
WestJet (Encore) began daily service on April 15th, 2016, between Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport and Boston, Massachusetts.
On April 7th, 2016, SN Brussels Airlines began 5 / week service between Brussels, Belgium and Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport. The route was initially scheduled to begin service on March 29th, 2016, but was delayed due to the terrorist attacks at Brussels Airport, Belgium on March 22nd, 2016.
On April 5th, 2016, Saskatoon-based Mitchinson Flight Centre opened a new satellite flight training school in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
On April 3rd, 2016, Air Canada ceased its operations between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and JFK International airport in New York, New York.
On March 27th, 2016, Mt. Pavlof, a volcano on the Alaska Peninsula, erupted with little advance notice spewing an ash cloud up to 20,000 feet (6,100 m) high and prompting aviation warnings. Flights were affected in the territories, and as far away as Regina.
On March 15th, 2016, WestJet (Encore) began 3 times a day service between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and Boston, Massachusetts.
From March 6th - 10th, 2016, Air Greenland operated 3 round trips between Nuuk, Greenland and Iqaluit, Nunavut.
On February 24th, 2016, a winter storm hit Chicago, Illinois and moved into eastern Canada. The combination of snow and freezing rain led to dangerous travel conditions with over 1,000 flights cancelled in Chicago. Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport had about 140 flights cancelled.
A major snowstorm hit eastern Canada on February 16th, 2016. Ottawa received 51 cm of snow, a one-day record snowfall.
On February 15th, 2016, WestJet ceased operations for the Calgary-Prince George, Calgary-Terrace and Fort McMurray-Kelowna routes, and reduced service on the Calgary-Brandon, Calgary-Edmonton and Calgary-Fort McMurray routes.
American Airlines ended its service between Edmonton, Alberta and Dallas, Texas on February 10th, 2016.
A major snowstorm hit Atlantic Canada on February 8th and 9th, 2016 with Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador being particularly hard hit.
Freezing rain in the Ottawa area cancelled numerous flights in and out of Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International on February 3rd, 2016.
On February 1st, 2016, United Airlines ended its daily service between St. John’s International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey.
From January 22nd – 26th, 2016, snowstorm Jonas hit the eastern seaboard of the United States and cities including New York, New York and Washington, DC received record or near record snowfalls. Overall, about 12,000 flights were cancelled over the four-day period, a number of which were destined for Canada.
On January 18th, 2016, National Airlines began a twice-weekly service between St. John’s International Airport and Orlando, Florida (Sanford International Airport).
On January 17th, 2016, the Maritimes were hit with their third major snowstorm of the week.
Having already impacted travel at both Chicago and Detroit, Michigan 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, Ontario and Melbourne, Florida. The flight will operate once a week.
On December 19th, 2015, Delta Airlines began daily service between Edmonton International and Seattle, Washington.
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 International 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 until the end of January.
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 8th, 2015, United Airlines reduced its service between London, Ontario and Chicago from 2 daily flights to 1 daily flight.
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, Pennsylvania 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.
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. 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, Ontario were cancelled July 3rd, 2015 due to a labour disruption between the airlines and their fuelling companies.
On July 2nd, 2015, a new airline codeshare agreement between Calm Air and First Air came into effect for the Kivalliq region. Under this arrangement, Rankin Inlet, Nunavut replaces Churchill, Manitoba as the main regional hub. In addition, the announcement indicated a reduction in the number of multi-leg flights in the region with more direct flights into Rankin Inlet.
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, Ontario to Abbotsford International Airport, British Columbia.
Air Canada, on June 5th, 2015, further expanded its global network with routes from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International to Amsterdam, Netherlands and from Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Quebec to Mexico City.
On June 1st, 2015, Air Canada launched its new non-stop daily service between Calgary International 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 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 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 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 to Nanaimo Airport and to Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport.