Aviation
Monthly Aircraft Movements: Major airports ? NAV CANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations, January 2017

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Release date: March 23, 2017

Analysis

There were 368,640 aircraft take-offs and landings at the 91 Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations compared with 362,599 movements in January 2016.

Both itinerant movements (flights from one airport to another) and local movements (flights that remain in the vicinity of the airport) increased in January 2017 on a year-over-year basis. Itinerant movements were up 1.9% to 272,997 while local movements increased 1.0% to 95,643.

Overall, air traffic rose 1.7% in January 2017 despite more airports reporting fewer movements as compared to the same month the previous year. Year-over-year variations of more than 1,000 movements were reported at 16 airports. Of these, 11 airports registered growth ranging from 3,838 movements at Pitt Meadows, British Columbia to 1,018 at Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Labrador. The reductions in aircraft movements at the remaining 5 airports ranged from 2,694 movements at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to 1,254 at Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International, Ontario.

Itinerant traffic was up 1.9% (+5,100 movements) as 43 airports reported more movements in January 2017.  With the exception of an increase of 1,766 movements at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario, the largest gains were observed in British Columbia with increases at Vancouver International, (+1,878 movements), Pitt Meadows, (+1,380), Victoria International (+1,199) and Boundary Bay (+1,172). The largest reductions were recorded at Toronto/Buttonville Municipal, Ontario (-935) and Edmonton International, Alberta (-833).

In January 2017, local movements rose 1.0% (+941 movements) as 42 airports reported higher levels of activity from the same month a year earlier. Year-over-year variations ranged from an increase of 2,458 movements at Pitt Meadows to a drop of 2,320 movements at Sault Ste. Marie.

Itinerant movements: domestic, transborder and international

Domestic itinerant movements (within Canada) rose to 219,901 in January 2017, up 2.1% from the same month the previous year. The airports leading the gains in air traffic were Pitt Meadows (+1,371 movements), Vancouver International (+1,199) and Boundary Bay (+1,156). These increases were sufficient to offset the reductions at several airports including Toronto/Buttonville Municipal (-945) and Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario (-663).

During the month, 73 airports reported 36,926 transborder (between Canada and the United States) itinerant movements, virtually unchanged from the level reported in January 2016. Gains in aircraft movements were recorded at 41 airports, including Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International (+603 movements) and Vancouver International (+288). The growth was almost completely offset by reductions in traffic at the remaining airports with the largest declines at Edmonton International (-220), Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International, Quebec (-185), Regina International, Saskatchewan (-125) and Calgary International, Alberta (-104).

In January 2017, 39 airports reported a total of 16,170 other international itinerant movements, up 3.8% from the same period the previous year.  Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International was the busiest airport with 7,112 movements, an increase of 7.0%, followed by Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International (3,130 movements) and Vancouver International (2,307). Together, these three airports accounted for 78% of all other international itinerant movements during the month.

Factors which may have influenced the data

On January 19th, 2017, WestJet inaugurated service from Calgary International Airport, Alberta to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Arizona. Inaugural service from Edmonton International Airport, Alberta began January 21st.

On January 17th, 2017, WestJet launched its non-stop service from Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, Manitoba to Hamilton Airport, Ontario. The airline also relaunched non-stop service to Edmonton International and Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International Airport, Nova Scotia from Hamilton Airport on January 16th.

Starting January 9th, 2017, Delta Air Lines resumed daily, year-round services between New York John F. Kennedy Airport, New York and Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International Airport.

On January 8th, 2017, American Airlines ended its service from Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International Airport to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

On December 26th, 2016, several flights out of Thunder Bay Airport, Ontario were cancelled due to a winter storm.

On December 20th, 2016, Air Canada began a new year-round service between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Ontario and Port of Spain, Trinidad.

On December 17th, 2016, Air Canada inaugurated a new non-stop service between Montréal/Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport, Québec and Puerto Rico. The weekly flights will operate as a winter seasonal service.

On December 9th, 2016, Porter Airlines began winter service between Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Ontario and Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Flights will be available until April 3rd, 2017, with service up to six times weekly during the peak schedule.

In December 2016, Canadian North cancelled its code-sharing flights from Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, Ontario to Iqaluit, Nunavut. This route was serviced by First Air.  

On November 18th, 2016, Hawkair Aviation Services filed for bankruptcy, suspending all operations.

Starting November 7th, 2016, Perimeter Aviation added flights in Ontario from Sioux Lookout to Bearskin Lake First Nation and Thunder Bay to Bearskin Lake First Nation.

On November 6th, 2016, Sunwing Vacations introduced a new weekly service from Kelowna, British Columbia to Cancun, Mexico. This service will run until April 9th, 2017.

On October 31st, 2016, Toronto Airways Inc. and the Canadian Flight Academy announced their move of operations from Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport, Ontario to Oshawa Airport, Ontario. In order to accommodate the move Toronto Airways at Toronto/Buttonville Municipal will be closed effective November 23, 2016. The Canadian Flight Academy will be closed effective November 30, 2016.

On October 31st, 2016, Bearskin Airlines announced it has partnered with Winnipeg-based Perimeter Aviation to re-establish service between Thunder Bay and several First Nations communities north of Sioux Lookout.

On October 29th, 2016, WestJet launched its first flight from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport to Belize City, Belize. The new non-stop seasonal service will operate two times a week.

On October 24th, 2016, Perimeter Aviation service to Sioux Lookout was expanded to include the Ontario First Nation communities of Deer Lake, Sachigo Lake, Weagamow (Round Lake) and North Spirit Lake with many of these new flights connecting to Bearskin Airlines service to and from Thunder Bay.

On October 20th, 2016, Air Canada inaugurated the only non-stop service from Vancouver International Airport, British Columbia to Delhi, India. The airline will operate flights three times a week.

The Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Region began its annual field training exercise in Inuvik, Nunavut and the surrounding areas on October 17th, 2016. The live-fly field training exercise will run to October 21st, 2016.

As of October 7th, 2016, Porter Airlines began daily flights between Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to North Bay, Ontario.

Effective October 6th, 2016, Calgary International Airport was renamed to YYC Calgary International Airport.

As of October 5th, 2016, American Airlines ended its service between Kitchener/Waterloo Airport, Ontario and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Illinois.

As of October 1st, 2016, Hawkair suspended flights from Terrace, British Columbia to Vancouver International Airport.

Effective September 19th, 2016, Bearskin Airlines increased service between the Ontario cities of Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury. All nonstop service between Thunder Bay-Sault Ste. Marie and Sault Ste. Marie-Sudbury will increase from 23 to 33 flights weekly. Service between Thunder Bay and Sudbury will increase from 29 to 40 flights weekly including a combination of nonstop and one stop same aircraft service.

On September 18th, 2016, the City of Brandon, Manitoba announced that WestJet was ending direct flights between Brandon and Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport. The service was introduced earlier this year as a trial run.  

On September 15th, 2016, Greater Toronto Airways began daily flights from Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Niagara District Airport in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

On September 5th, 2016, Integra Air launched a new scheduled air service in Alberta between Edmonton International and Medicine Hat.

Operation NANOOK 2016, Canada’s annual northern sovereignty operation began on August 21st, 2016. The Canadian Armed Forces deployed land, maritime and air components in three locations in the North: Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Whitehorse and Haines Junction, Yukon.

Effective August 18th, 2016, Moncton/Greater Moncton International Airport, New Brunswick was renamed Greater Moncton Roméo Leblanc International Airport.

As of August 1st, 2016, Delta Airlines suspended flights to and from Regina International Airport, Saskatchewan and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For the month of August 2016, Central Mountain Air continued to offer flights in British Columbia between Dawson Creek and Prince George after a trial run the previous month.

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre Inc. reported 3,969 fires covering 1,293,072 hectares as of July 31st, 2016. This represents an increase of 944 fires and 412,915 hectares from a month earlier. In 2015, the agency had recorded 5,766 fires encompassing 3,889,663 hectares by the end of July.

On July 27th, 2016, Montair Aviation, a flight training academy based in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, opened their second training base at Red Deer Airport, Alberta.

On July 25th, 2016, NewLeaf, a new Canadian low-cost air travel company, inaugurated its first flight from Hamilton Airport to Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International. The company is contracting flights through Kelowna-based Flair Air.

On July 20th, 2016, Qatar Airways Cargo launched new freighter services between New York (John F. Kennedy) and Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International.

On July 1st, 2016, Calm Air ended its midday flights connecting Flin-Flon, Manitoba, Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International and Thompson, Manitoba.  

Effective July 1st, 2016, United Airlines suspended service from Edmonton International Airport to Chicago and to San Francisco, California.

For the month of July 2016, Central Mountain Air will be offering flights between Dawson Creek and Prince George on a weekly basis.

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre Inc. reported 3,025 fires covering 880,157 hectares as of June 30th, 2016. This represents an increase of 1,065 fires and 25,152 hectares from a month earlier. In 2015, the agency had recorded 4,076 fires encompassing 1,352,281 hectares by the end of June.

On June 30th, 2016, United Airlines dropped its direct flights to and from London International Airport, Ontario and Chicago.

On June 29th, 2016, WestJet began non-stop flights between London, Ontario and Vancouver International Airport. The service will operate four times each week.

On June 16th, 2016, Air Canada launched the only year round non-stop service between Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and Lyon-Saint Exupéry, France. The flights will operate five times a week during the summer and four times a week during the winter.

On June 14th, 2016, Air Canada Rouge inaugurated its first flight from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport to Warsaw Chopin Airport, Poland. The new non-stop seasonal service will operate four times a week until September 25th, 2016.

On June 13th, 2016, Air Canada Rouge started a new seasonal non-stop service between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and Glasgow Airport, Scotland. The flights will be offered three times a week until September 25th, 2016.

On June 10th, 2016, Air Canada Rouge inaugurated its first flight from Vancouver International Airport to Dublin, Ireland. The airline will operate flights three times a week until October 8th, 2016.

On June 10th, 2016, Air Canada Rouge commenced flights between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and Budapest, Hungary. The non-stop seasonal service will operate three times a week.

Fort McMurray International Airport, Alberta resumed commercial air service on June 10th, 2016. The airport authority had suspended all commercial air traffic, May 5th, 2016, as the result of forest fires in the surrounding area.

On June 3rd, 2016, Air Canada began weekly service from Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to Casablanca, Morocco. The flights will be operated by Air Canada Rouge until October 29th, 2016. Service is scheduled to resume on May 1st, 2017.   

On June 3rd, 2016, Condor Airlines began weekly service from Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International Airport to Munich, Germany. 

On June 2nd, 2016, Air Canada’s inaugural flight AC35, 787 Dreamliner service from Vancouver International arrived in Brisbane, Australia. These new flights between the two cities will begin daily service on June 17th, 2016.

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 and London-Gatwick, United Kingdom. The flight will operate daily during the summer.

Beginning May 11th, 2016, Korean Air Cargo added a second weekly flight from Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International Airport to South Korea.

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, Calgary International and Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International airports began May 6th, while service from Edmonton International Airport, Winnipeg-James Armstrong Richardson International Airport and St. John’s International Airport, Newfoundland and Labrador began May 7th.

On May 6th, 2016, WestJet cancelled direct flights from Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International to Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador to add more direct flights to Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport.

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, offering flights 5 times per week. On May 11th, 2016, flights began between Reykjavik 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.

Starting May 1st, 2016, Air Canada increased capacity by 48% on flights between Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador and Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International as well as the connection between Happy Valley-Goose Bay and St John’s International. The new Bombardier Q400 aircrafts seats 74 passengers, 24 more seats than the Bombardier CRJ held.

WestJet (Encore) began daily service on April 15th, 2016, between Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International Airport and Boston, Massachusetts.

On April 15th, 2016, WestJet added a second daily flight between Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Labrador and Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International.

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 4th, 2016, Delta Airlines began a new non-stop service from Victoria International Airport, British Columbia to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington. The flights will operate three times daily.

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.

In April 2016, Air Canada suspended one round trip flight between Vancouver and Terrace. Westjet as well will no longer operate its early morning flight to Vancouver and late night return to Terrace.

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.

Effective March 14th, 2016, Provincial Airlines introduced a new same day return flight from Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador to St. John’s International. An additional evening flight also was offered connecting St. John’s International, Deer Lake and Stephenville.

From March 6th - 10th, 2016, Air Greenland operated 3 round trips between Nuuk, Greenland and Iqaluit.

On February 24th, 2016, a winter storm hit Chicago 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, Ontario 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 and Dallas, Texas on February 10th, 2016.

A major snowstorm hit Atlantic Canada on February 8th and 9th, 2016 with Halifax and St. John’s 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 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.

On January 14th, 2016, Perimeter Aviation had its last flight between Dauphin, Manitoba and Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. In October 2015, the airline started to reduce flights on this route.

Beginning January 2016, WestJet will double the number of flights from Brandon to Calgary, International Airport.

In January 2016, Castlegar Airport, British Columbia cancelled 61% of all flights due to poor weather conditions.

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