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

Release date: May 30, 2017

Analysis

There were 421,525 aircraft take-offs and landings at the 91 Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations compared with 438,750 movements in March 2016.

Both itinerant movements (flights from one airport to another) and local movements (flights that remain in the vicinity of the airport) decreased in March 2017 on a year-over-year basis. Itinerant movements were down 1.9% to 304,040 while local movements decreased 8.9% to 117,485.

Overall, air traffic dropped 3.9% in March 2017 as 50 airports reported fewer movements from the same month the previous year. Year-over-year variations of more than 1,000 movements were reported at 13 airports. Of these, 9 airports registered declines ranging from 6,275 movements at Montréal/St-Hubert, Quebec to 1,068 at Fredericton International, New Brunswick. The growth in aircraft movements at the remaining 4 airports ranged from 4,551 movements at Red Deer Regional, Alberta to 1,020 at Montréal/Mirabel International, Quebec.

Itinerant traffic dropped 1.9% (-5,745 movements) as 53 airports reported fewer movements in March 2017. The largest declines were observed at Montréal/St. Hubert (-2,263 movements), Boundary Bay, British Columbia (-1,546), Toronto/Buttonville Municipal, Ontario (-1,519) and Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International, Ontario (-982). The largest gains were recorded at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario (+1,292), Red Deer Regional (+1,222) and Chicoutimi/St-Honoré, Quebec (+790).

In March 2017, local movements dropped 8.9% (-11,480 movements) as 47 airports reported fewer levels of activity from the same month a year earlier. Year-over-year variations ranged from a decrease of 4,012 movements at Montréal/St.Hubert to an increase of 3,329 movements at Red Deer Regional.

Itinerant movements: domestic, transborder and international

Domestic itinerant movements (within Canada) fell to 247,201 in March 2017, down 2.6% from the same month the previous year. The airports leading the declines in air traffic were Montréal/St. Hubert (-2,246 movements), Boundary Bay (-1,536), Toronto/Buttonville Municipal (-1,490) and Ottawa/Macdonald- Cartier International (-757). These reductions were sufficient to offset the growth at several airports including Red Deer Regional (+1,230), Chicoutimi/St-Honoré (+789) and Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International (+523).

During the month, 73 airports reported 40,138 transborder (between Canada and the United States) itinerant movements, down 0.7% from the level reported in March 2016.  Reductions in aircraft movements were recorded at 51 airports, including Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International (-198 movements), Regina International, Saskatchewan (-127) and Montréal/Pierre Elliot Trudeau International, Quebec (-115). The largest gains in traffic were recorded at Vancouver International, British Columbia (+328), Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International (+181) and Victoria International, British Columbia (+118).

In March 2017, 43 airports reported a total of 16,701 other international itinerant movements, up 6.7% from the same period the previous year. Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International was the busiest airport with 7,299 movements, an increase of 8.8%, followed by Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International (3,231) and Vancouver International (2,220). Together, these three airports accounted for 76% of all other international itinerant movements during the month. 

Factors which may have influenced the data

Effective March 28th, 2017, Cathy Pacific increased the frequency of its service from Vancouver International Airport, British Columbia to Boston, Massachusetts.

As of March 26th, 2017, Air Canada stopped flying directly from Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International, Ontario to LaGuardia Airport, New York, New York. The airline instead will offer flights from Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International to Newark Airport, New Jersey.

On March 17th, 2017, two Cessnas operated by Cargair Aviation collided in mid-air over St-Bruno, Quebec. Several of the Cargair flight school campuses suspended activites for a few days immediately following the accident.

On February 16th, 2017, Air Canada launched daily year-round flights from Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International, Quebec to Shanghai, China.

Starting February 5th, 2017, Air Canada began daily year-round non-stop flights between Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Texas and Vancouver International.

On February 3rd, 2017, WestJet inaugurated daily service from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario to Sudbury, Ontario.

On January 23rd, 2017, First Air announced a new four-year agreement with Summit Air, which will expand its use of the charter passenger service.

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 10th, 2017, Aqsaqniq Airways offered bi-monthly service from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The company plans to put passengers and freight on a de Havilland Dash-7 combi between the two hubs every second Tuesday.

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 January 2nd, 2017, Canadian North launched a refurbished Boeing 737-300 combi-jet on its Iqaluit, Nunavut–Ottawa route. The company also announced that it will resume Dash 8 service for Pond Inlet, Clyde River, Qikiqtarjuaq, and Pangnirtung. 

Due to planned maintenance by Canadian North, the Ottawa to Iqaluit codeshare route will be served by a single daily flight operated by First Air from January 5th to February 28th, 2017.

In 2016, Air Canada reduced the number of flights between Kamloops, British Columbia and Vancouver International.

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 and Port of Spain, Trinidad.

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

Starting December 16th, 2016, Sunwing began new seasonal flights to Freeport, Bahamas from Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan.  Regina also received a new seasonal flight to Manzanillo, Mexico starting December 21st, 2016.

On December 14th, 2016 Cargair began to operate a training facility at Montréal/Mirabel International Airport. The flight school was previously located at Mascouche, Quebec.

On December 15th, 2016, Sunwing started seasonal flights to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic from Saskatoon.

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 to Iqaluit. This route was serviced by First Air.    

In November 2016, the city of Mascouche closed the private airport that had been operating in the city. 

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 23rd, 2016. The Canadian Flight Academy will be closed effective November 30th, 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, the St John’s Airport Authority seized one of the aircraft of National Airlines passenger operations due to a financial issue. The airline subsequently announced that they were cancelling several flights in November and December and decided not to extend service to St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador beyond January 6th, 2017.

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 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 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 12th, 2016, Watson Lake Airport, Yukon, welcomed the arrival of its first scheduled commercial flight since the 1990’s. The Alkan Air flight originated from Whitehorse, Yukon.

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 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.

Starting July 28th and 29th, 2016, WestJet commenced a seasonal non-stop service connecting, Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International Airport and Kelowna Airport, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport and Edmonton International.

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

On July 25th, 2016, NewLeaf, a new Canadian low-cost air travel company, inaugurated its first flight from John C. Munro Hamilton International 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 14th, 2016, First Air suspended its three-times-a-week service from Iqaluit to Coral Harbour, Nunavut.

On July 13th, 2016, First Air added an additional non-stop flight between Iqaluit and Cape Dorset, Nunavut.

On July 13th, 2016, Cargair Max Aviation acquired the Air Médic operational base (land and an aircraft hangar) in St. Honoré, Quebec. Air Médic will continue to have access to the hanger. As part of the investment into its new flight school location, Cargair indicated it would be adding 12 aircraft and two flight simulators.

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 13th, 2016, First Air launched a second daily non-stop flight between Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and Kuujjuaq, Quebec.

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.

In the summer of 2016, WestJet launched a new nonstop route from Calgary International to Thunder Bay.

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).

In May 2016, WestJet suspended non-stop flights from Abbotsford, British Columbia to Las Vegas, Nevada.

On May 31st, 2016, Air Labrador began service between Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador and St. John’s and Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Labrador.

On May 30th, 2016, American Airlines ended its service between Phoenix, Arizona and Calgary International.

On May 24th, 2016, Air Canada began new flights between Hamilton and Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

On May 22nd, 2016, National Airlines suspended service between Windsor Airport, Ontario and Orlando Sanford International Airport, Florida.

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.

On May 16th, 2016, Island Express Air started daily flights to and from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, British Columbia. The airline will fly from Comox Airport to serve Abbotsford, Victoria International, Boundary Bay and Nanaimo.

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

On May 11th, 2016, WOW a low-cost Icelandic airline began 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.

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 began flights from Reykjavik, Iceland to Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International, offering flights 5 times per week.

On May 3rd, 2016, US Airways cancelled its service between Phoenix and Edmonton International Airport.

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 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 aircraft 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.

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.

Starting March 15th, 2016, WestJet launched non-stop service between London, Ontario and Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport.

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, Newfoundland and Labrador and Stephenville.

From March 6th - 11th, 2016, as part of the 2016 Artic Winter Games, Air Greenland and several other airlines operated flights between Nuuk, Greenland and Iqaluit. As Nuuk does not have a hockey rink the hockey competition was hosted by Iqaluit.      

On March 5th, 2016, WestJet eliminated flights between Edmonton International and Kamloops and Edmonton International and Nanaimo, British Columbia.

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