Aviation
Airport Activity: Air Carrier Traffic at Canadian Airports, 2019

Release date: December 14, 2020

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Highlights

The number of passengers enplaned and deplaned at Canadian airports reached 162 million in 2019, an increase of 1.0% compared to the previous year. This was the tenth consecutive annual increase in air passenger traffic following the economic slowdown of 2009. However, 2020 will see an abrupt end to this trend with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Passenger traffic increased at the largest airports in 2019, with Lester B. Pearson in Toronto up 1.4%, Vancouver International up 0.9%, Pierre Elliott Trudeau in Montréal up 4.0% and Calgary International up 2.6%.

For the first time in a decade, domestic traffic contracted in 2019, down 0.7% (-0.6 million passengers) year-over-year. This decline was more than offset by growth in both transborder traffic (between Canada and the United States), up 2.3% (+0.7 million) and other international traffic, up 4.0% (+1.5 million).

This divergence is consistent with findings on traveller behaviour. According to the National Travel Survey, Canadians took fewer trips (-1.0%) domestically during 2019, while the number of trips to overseas countries rose 4.0%

For the sixth consecutive year, growth in other international passenger traffic outpaced the other two sectors. This was driven by the three largest international hubs - Toronto/Lester B. Pearson (+3.1%), Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau (+7.2%) and Vancouver International (+2.2%) - which accounted for 89% of the 37.3 million passengers who enplaned on and deplaned off international flights in Canada.

The weight of cargo loaded and unloaded at Canadian airports decreased 5.6% year-over-year in 2019. Domestic cargo decreased 4.0% to 581,000 tonnes. Other international tonnages decreased 8.5% to 545,000 tonnes while transborder cargo was down 2.3% to 239,000 tonnes.

With the emergence of the pandemic however, 2020 is likely to see a reversal in fortune for air freight vis-à-vis passenger traffic, particularly international. Indeed, airport traffic in 2019 serves as an important benchmark to measure the full impact of COVID-19 on Canadian airports.


Table 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 1. The information is grouped by Passenger and cargo data (appearing as row headers), (appearing as column headers).
Passenger and cargo data
2018 2019 Change 2018 to 2019
number percent
Enplaned and Deplaned Passengers
Domestic Segments 93,299,144 92,664,782 -0.7
Transborder Segments 31,459,469 32,187,206 2.3
Other International Segments 35,882,974 37,333,320 4.0
Total 160,641,587 162,185,308 1.0
Loaded/Unloaded Cargo (tonnes) 1,444,699 1,364,195 -5.6

Chart 1 Total enplaned/deplaned passengers

Data table for Chart 1 
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1 Total , calculated using passengers (millions) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Total
passengers (millions)
1999 85,243,957
2000 86,003,003
2001 81,751,079
2002 78,229,504
2003 78,391,224
2004 87,799,030
2005 94,605,005
2006 101,677,328
2007 106,433,442
2008 109,360,095
2009 104,765,830
2010 109,099,196
2011 113,471,763
2012 119,197,489
2013 123,909,945
2014 129,868,870
2015 133,426,703
2016 140,892,544
2017 150,808,451
2018 160,641,587
2019 162,185,308

Note to Users

Cargo data

It is important to note that the air cargo data presented does not represent the total cargo loaded and unloaded in Canada. Comprehensive cargo data are not collected for the following reasons:

i. the regional and local scheduled carriers do not file cargo data on the airport activity survey and,

ii. the major charter survey does not collect data on domestic courier cargo or domestic entity cargo flights.

Passenger flights which carry cargo on them are classified as passenger flights. The cargo carried on these passenger flights is defined as belly-hold cargo. The belly-hold cargo data are included with the pure cargo data in the cargo table, Table 23-10-0254-01.

Services offered by carriers

Scheduled Services

Major Charter Services

Factors which may have influenced the data

2019

On January 7, 2019, United Airlines discontinued flights between Victoria International and San Francisco, California, after a decade of service.

On January 8, 2019, Swoop Airlines’ inaugural flight took off from Hamilton to Puerto Vallarta. The flights will depart twice per week.

On January 12, 2019, Swoop Airlines began twice-weekly service between Abbotsford and Puerto Vallarta.

On January 14, 2019, Swoop Airlines began service between Hamilton and Cancun. The flights will depart three times per week and then weekly through the summer.

A powerful winter storm brought heavy rain and snow to much of eastern Canada and eastern United States on the weekend of January 19, 2019. Flight cancellations were reported at airports across the affected regions.

On January 20, 2019, Swoop Airlines began twice-weekly service between Abbotsford and Mazatlán.

On January 28, 2019, a snowfall warning was in effect for the entire Greater Toronto Area and most of southern Ontario. More than 200 departing flights at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International were cancelled.

In February 2019, British Columbia-based KD Air voluntarily and temporarily suspended operations to undergo aircraft and service improvements.

On February 6, 2019, hundreds of flights were cancelled at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International due to freezing rain. Flight cancellations and delays also occurred at other airports throughout Ontario and at Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International.

Persistent adverse weather in British Columbia that began the night of February 8, 2019, caused weather alerts to be issued in Greater Victoria, East Vancouver Island and Inland Vancouver Island. On February 10, whiteout conditions caused many flights to be delayed or cancelled at Victoria International. On February 11 and 12, dozens of flights were delayed or cancelled out of Vancouver International due to another incoming storm.

On February 12 and 13, 2019, a massive winter storm hit Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, causing airports to cancel flights across all locations. Over 400 flights were cancelled at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International on February 12, with cancellations continuing the following day.

On February 14, 2019, Air Canada announced it would increase capacity in the spring on several routes across Western Canada by deploying more of its Bombardier Q-400 aircraft. The routes in British Columbia from Vancouver include the following: Comox; Kamloops; Nanaimo; Penticton; Prince Rupert; Sandspit and Smithers. From Calgary the affected routes include: Kelowna and Saskatoon. Overall, the increase in capacity ranges from 5 to 52%.

On February 24, 2019, high winds with blowing snow affected much of southern Ontario, southern New Brunswick and parts of Nova Scotia. Several hundred flights at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International were cancelled.

On February 26, 2019, Air Canada suspended its non-stop flights between Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International and Port-au-Prince, due to civil unrest in Haiti. Service has been suspended through April 29, 2019.

On February 26, 2019, Air Canada suspended all of its flights to Delhi, India after Pakistan closed its airspace. Flights resumed on February 28, 2019.

On February 28, 2019, Flair Airlines suspended its newly launched seasonal service to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, Florida and to Palm Springs. Service to these cities began in December, 2018.

March 1, 2019 marked the last Delta Airlines flight between Edmonton International and Seattle. Service originated in December 2015.

On March 3, 2019, WestJet’s inaugural flight from Calgary International to Atlanta, Georgia, landed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The carrier will operate six flights a week, switching to daily flights on April 7, 2019.

On March 11, 2019, WestJet began a new direct flight from St. John’s to Fort Lauderdale. The flight will operate on a limited basis through May 13, 2019.

On March 13, 2019, Canada grounded all Boeing 737 Max aircraft following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight on March 10. A number of transatlantic flights from Canada had been cancelled the previous day due to bans of the aircraft in the United Kingdom and European Union. Airlines and countries around the world also banned the aircraft from their airspace, resulting in widespread cancellations and flight disruptions.

On the evening of March 17, 2019, all U.S.-bound flights from terminal 1 at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International were cancelled after a fire broke out near a security checkpoint.

On March 22, 2019, Hong Kong Airlines permanently changed the aircraft it uses to operate its Vancouver International flights, from an A330-200 to an A350-900. The airline had previously planned to use the A350 for only one month, starting January 1, 2019.

On March 26, 2019, Icelandair announced it would be cancelling its plans to reintroduce spring and summer service between Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International and Reykjavik.

On March 28, 2019, Icelandic airline Wow Air ceased operations. The airline had operated out of Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International and Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International.

On March 30, 2019, Air Canada ended direct flights between Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International and Thunder Bay. On March 31, 2019, it also ended direct service from Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International to Saskatoon/John G. Diefenbaker International, Saskatchewan.

Beginning March 31, 2019, Norwegian Air began transatlantic daily service between Hamilton and Dublin.

In April 2019, Icelandair announced that it had extended the cancellation of flights between Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International and Reykjavik for the entire calendar year. Previously, the cancellation had only applied to spring and summer service.

On April 25, 2019, Air Canada announced that previously suspended flights from both Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International and St. John’s International to London/Heathrow would be suspended until August 1, 2019, at the earliest, as a result of the ongoing grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The airline also cancelled summer service between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson and Abbotsford.

On April 27, 2019, heavy snow and strong winds hit much of central and southern Alberta. The Calgary Airport Authority reported 62 departure flights and 28 arrivals were cancelled at Calgary International.

On April 28, 2019, Air Canada ended its non-stop service between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International and San Antonio, Texas. The route started on May 1, 2017.

On April 28, 2019, WestJet announced cancellations and schedule changes on some of its routes as it deals with the continued grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Flights between Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International and Paris are suspended from June 3 through August 2, 2019. The following domestic routes have been suspended from June 3 until July 3, 2019: Edmonton International and Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International; Edmonton International and Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International; Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International and Kelowna and Vancouver International and Regina.

On April 29, 2019, Swoop began daily service between London and Edmonton International.

On April 29, 2019, Air Canada added a second, six-times-weekly flight from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International to Austin. This is in addition to Air Canada’s daily flights between the two cities. The new flight will operate until October 26, 2019.

On April 29, 2019, WestJet began its new non-stop service between Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International and Dublin. The flight will depart six times weekly until October 25, 2019. Previously, WestJet had operated a direct flight to Dublin from St. John’s International. On the same day, the airline also began daily transborder service between Calgary International and Portland, Oregon.

On April 29, 2019, Austrian Airlines operated its inaugural flight from Vienna, Austria to Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International. The airline will operate the flight daily in the summer and five times per week in the winter.

As of April 29, 2019, United Airlines began daily service from Québec/Jean Lesage International to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Effective April 29, 2019, Air Canada discontinued its regional flights between Cranbrook and Calgary International.

On April 30, 2019, Air Canada ended its non-stop service between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International and Jacksonville International Airport, Florida.

Starting May 1, 2019, Air Canada started using the Q400 for flights in British Columbia between Penticton and Vancouver. The aircraft offers a 17% increase in seat capacity over the previous model of aircraft used on the route. As a result, the airline has reduced the frequency of flights.

On May 1, 2019, Air Canada increased capacity and upgraded services on several routes in Eastern Canada by shifting aircraft from Air Canada Express regional aircraft to larger Air Canada Rouge 319s. From Toronto, the routes include the following cities: Moncton, Fredericton, New Brunswick and Thunder Bay, Ontario. In addition, the route from Montréal to St John’s was also affected.

Starting May 1, 2019, Air Canada reduced the number of flights in Alberta between Medicine Hat and Calgary. To maintain overall capacity, the airline introduced two daily Dash 8-300s (50 seats) flights. Previously, the route was serviced with up to six flights daily with an 18 seat aircraft.

On May 1, 2019, Manitoba-based Northway Aviation began new service to several Manitoba communities: Oxford House, God’s Lake Narrows, and God’s River. The flights begin from Winnipeg/St. Andrews Airport.

On May 2, 2019, WestJet began twice weekly transborder service between Calgary International and Austin, Texas.

On May 17, 2019, WestJet launched its inaugural flight between Calgary International and Paris. Flights will be offered four times per week between the two cities on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. On April 29, the airline also launched Dreamliner service between Calgary and London/Gatwick.

On May 24, 2019, Air Creebec suspended flights between Timmins, Ontario and Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International (via Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec). The service had been offered since July 2018.

On May 24, 2019, Swoop began non-stop service from London to both Abbotsford (daily) and Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International (daily, except Saturdays).

On May 26, WestJet reduced the frequency of its flights between Abbostford and Las Vegas.

On May 31, 2019, Aeromexico relaunched direct flights between Calgary International and Mexico City, Mexico. The route was originally launched two years ago but was pulled back due to constrained availability of flight slots out of the Mexico City Airport. Seasonal service is currently scheduled until September 2019.

In June 2019, Air Canada removed its Vancouver International to Nagoya, Japan route, which was originally scheduled to fly three times per week for the summer season.

The ongoing grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft has resulted in updated route changes by Air Canada in 2019, many of which took effect in June and affect the number of aircraft movements out of various Canadian airports. Domestically, in addition to the Toronto-Abbotsford, British Columbia route being suspended for the summer season, flights from Calgary International to London are also suspended for the summer. Affected transborder routes include: Edmonton International to Las Vegas, suspended form June 16 to September 30; Vancouver International to Honolulu, reduced from daily to four-weekly and operated by Omni Air International from June 2 to October 26; Vancouver International to Kahului, Hawaii, reduced from daily to three-weekly and operated by Omni Air International, from June 4 to October 26; Vancouver International to Las Vegas, second daily flight suspended from June 16 until September 2 and Calgary International to Phoenix, with a route suspension from June 1 to September 30. International routes affected include: Halifax and St. John’s International to London/Heathrow, both suspended until October 26, 2019; Toronto to Shannon, Ireland, suspended for summer 2019 and Montréal to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with a resumption now scheduled for December 3, 2019.

On June 1, 2019, WestJet began a new non-stop route between Calgary International and Dublin. Flights will depart Calgary three times weekly until October 5, 2019, and then twice weekly until October 19, 2019.

On June 1, 2019, Swoop began service between Edmonton International and Orlando. The route will operate once-weekly until October 26, 2019.

On June 2, 2019, WestJet Encore operated its last scheduled flight between Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International and Boston, Massachusetts.

On June 3, 2019, Air Canada inaugurated its new daily, non-stop service between Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International and Raleigh, North Carolina.

On June 6, 2019, United Airlines temporarily suspended its three daily flights between Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International and Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The airline expects to resume service in March 2020.

On June 6, 2019, American Airlines began service between Québec/Jean-Lesage International and Chicago O’Hare International. The route will operate once per day, serviced by Envoy Air.

On June 6, 2019, United Airlines added daily, non-stop, seasonal service between Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International and Newark Liberty International, New Jersey.

On June 10, 2019, United Airlines began non-stop service between Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Illinois, and Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International. The flight will operate once daily and was last offered in January 2015.

On June 14, 2019, American Airlines re-introduced service between Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the first time since 2017. The flight will depart Halifax once daily.

On June 24, 2019, WestJet Encore began service between London and Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International. Service will operate on weekdays until October 15, 2019.

On June 26, 2019, WestJet began non-stop flights between Edmonton International and St. John’s International.

On June 27, 2019, Air Canada began new non-stop service between Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International and Sydney. Daily service will run until October 26, 2019.

On June 27, 2019, Porter Airlines launched seasonal service in Ontario between Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Muskoka Airport. The flights will operate on Thursdays and Mondays until September 3, 2019.

For its 2019 summer schedule, Icelandair increased the number of flights per week between Reykjavik, Iceland and Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, from seven to 11.

There were several route updates from WestJet which took effect in July 2019, in response to the Boeing 737 MAX grounding: flights between Edmonton International and Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International that had been suspended through July 3 are now operating on an overnight service Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from July 5 to August 28. Flights between Edmonton International and Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau that had been suspended to July 3 are now operating on an overnight service Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from July 4 to August 29.

On July 3, 2019, Air Canada launched its new non-stop, seasonal service between Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International and Bordeaux, France. The service will run three times per week until September 8, 2019.

Over a five day period beginning on July 5, 2019, Swoop cancelled or delayed nearly two dozen flights due to a technical issue with one of their aircraft. The airline was unable to charter replacement aircraft due to limited availability as a result of the 737 MAX grounding. Flights were cancelled to and from Halifax and Ontario cities London and Hamilton.

On July 5, 2019, the City of Kingston, Ontario celebrated the grand opening of the Kingston Airport’s newly extended runway and expanded terminal. The runway was extended from 4,929 feet to 6,000 feet, and a new approach lighting system was installed to improve reliability.

On July 29, 2019, WestJet updated its Boeing 737 MAX schedule to November 4. Route suspensions include the following: Halifax to Paris, France: suspended for the remainder of the season. Ottawa and Montréal, Quebec to Edmonton will continue to operate as overnight service; Vancouver and Regina: suspended for the remainder of the season. Toronto and Kelowna have been suspended for September and October; flights between Toronto and St. John’s will be operated twice daily instead of three times daily.

On September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian, a category five hurricane, hit the Bahamas. Two days prior, WestJet announced it would not be flying to or from Fort Lauderdale until it was safe to resume. Additionally in Florida, Orlando International Airport ceased commercial flight operations on September 2, and Daytona Beach International Airport closed after the last flight departed on September 1.

On September 2, 2019, Delta Airlines ended its service between Victoria International and Seattle, Washington. The daily service started in April 2016, and offered three flights per day to Seattle.

On September 6, 2019, as Hurricane Dorian moved up the coast towards Atlantic Canada, WestJet announced it would be cancelling more than 50 flights on September 7 and 8, to and from Halifax and Sydney, both in Nova Scotia; Moncton, New Brunswick and Gander and St. John’s, both in Newfoundland and Labrador.

On September 8, 2019, WestJet updated its Boeing 737 MAX timeline to remove the aircraft through January 5, 2020 and adjusted its schedule once again. Additional routes that have been modified to include suspensions or additions will include the following: Saskatoon and Regina both in Saskatchewan to Phoenix: three weekly flights suspended; Regina to Orlando: one weekly flight suspended; Winnipeg to Phoenix and Las Vegas: two weekly flights suspended; Winnipeg to Palm Springs, California: operating once-weekly instead of twice weekly; Toronto to New York/LaGuardia, New York: select weekend suspensions; Toronto to Phoenix: three weekly flights suspended; Calgary to Kelowna: one daily flight suspended. Flights to Hawaii that have been adjusted include the following: Calgary to Maui: 12 departures removed with the same number of seats remaining as the aircraft is changed to a larger 787 Dreamliner; Calgary to Honolulu: three weekly flights suspended; Edmonton, Alberta to Maui: two weekly flights suspended; Edmonton to Honolulu: one weekly flight suspended; Vancouver, British Columbia to Honolulu and Maui: 24 flight segments each added to accommodate the Alberta flight cancellations.

On September 9 and 10, 2019, more than a dozen flights between Canada and London/Heathrow, England, were cancelled due to a pilot strike at British Airways. Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International was the most affected city in Canada, with four flights cancelled each day.

On September 13, 2019, Norwegian Air Shuttle operated its last flight from Hamilton to Dublin, Ireland. The airline began offering daily service in March, 2019, and cited uncertainty about when the Boeing 737 MAX would return to service as a reason for its decision.

A major snowstorm hit southern Alberta beginning on September 28, 2019, during which the city of Calgary experienced a record breaking snowfall (on September 29). Several flights out of Calgary International were cancelled.

On October 3, 2019, Swoop added a new twice weekly route between London and Las Vegas.

On October 4, 2019, Air Canada discontinued its Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International to Omaha, Nebraska service. The route had been operated on a daily basis by Air Georgian.

On October 8, 2019, Air Transat launched its inaugural transatlantic service with its recently delivered Airbus A321LR; from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International to London/Gatwick, England. On October 31, 2019, the aircraft also took over the Toronto to Glasgow, Scotland route. The Airbus A321LR will replace both the A310 and the A330 aircraft on these routes.

On October 11, 2019, a major snow storm hit southern Manitoba, causing the province to declare a state of emergency. Delays and cancellations were reported at Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International.

On October 16, 2019, Air Canada announced it would be removing the Boeing 737 MAX from its schedule until February 14, 2020.

On October 19, 2019, Swoop began weekly service between Edmonton International and Puerto Vallarta. The flights will be available until April 23, 2020.

On October 24, 2019, Swoop added new routes between Edmonton International (one per week) and London, Ontario (twice weekly) to Cancun. On October 26, 2019, the airline also launched London to Orlando service twice per week.

On October 27, 2019, WestJet Link (operated by Pacific Coastal Airways) began operating a daily route between Cranbrook and Vancouver International, both in British Columbia.

On October 28, 2019, Air Canada launched daily non-stop, year-round flights between Calgary International, Alberta and Terrace, British Columbia. The airline also increased capacity on key regional routes across Western Canada beginning in the fall and winter.

At the end of October 2019, WestJet replaced its year-round service between Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International, Nova Scotia and Gander with seasonal service which will return in summer 2020.

On October 31, 2019, Yukon-based Air North added Watson Lake, Yukon, and Prince George and Nanaimo, both in British Columbia, to its route network. The route departs Vancouver International on Thursdays, with stops in Nanaimo, Kelowna, British Columbia, Prince George and Watson Lake, before arriving in Whitehorse, Yukon. Increased mining activity in the southern Yukon region brought the opportunity to service the new destinations.

On November 1 and 2, 2019, Air Canada began its seasonal service from Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International, Ontario to Cancun and Punta Cana (respectively). These routes were introduced almost one month earlier as compared to 2018.

On November 2, 2019, Swoop Airlines operated its inaugural flight between Edmonton International, Alberta and Los Cabos. Flights will be available until April 25, 2020.

On November 3, 2019, Air Transat launched direct flights between Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International, Quebec and New Orleans, Louisiana. The route is available twice weekly, year-round.

Between November 4, 2019 and January 5, 2020, WestJet cancelled some of its direct flights out of the Regina International Airport, due to the Boeing 737 MAX grounding. Transborder routes cancelled include the once-weekly flight to Orlando and the three weekly flights to Phoenix, Arizona. Internationally, the Regina-Cancun flight was cancelled for November, but will fly once per week in December.

On November 5, 2019, WestJet launched weekly service between Victoria International, British Columbia and Los Cabos.

On November 13, 2019, WestJet updated its Boeing 737 MAX schedule, removing the aircraft through February 4, 2020. Removal of the aircraft from the schedule continues to result in various route frequency changes and suspensions.

On November 15, 2019, Swoop launched a series of inaugural flights from Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. On November 15, twice-weekly flights to Orlando, Florida and to Las Vegas, Nevada began; on November 16, twice weekly flights to Fort Lauderdale, Florida began, and on November 17, flights to Tampa Bay, Florida (twice-weekly) and to Los Cabos, Mexico (once per week until December 18, then twice weekly) were inaugurated. Flights are available through April, 2020.

For the winter 2019/2020 season, Air Canada added a second daily flight between Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Flights between the two cities will be operated year-round on the Bombardier Q400.

In December 2019, Sunwing Airlines added three new seasonal destinations out of Hamilton, Ontario: Cayo Santa Maria and Cayo Coco, both in Cuba, as well as Cancun. Weekly Cayo Santa Maria flights run from December 13 until April 10, 2020 while Cayo Coco and Cancun flights will each operate weekly from December 15 until April 12, 2020.

In December 2019, WestJet removed its flights between Regina International Airport, Saskatchewan and Puerto Vallarta. The flights operated weekly in November 2019, but were removed from the schedule in December as a result of the continued grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.

On December 1, 2019, Calm Air resumed service to Churchill with six weekly flights to locations within Manitoba: between Winnipeg, Gillam and Churchill. The airline last operated service to Churchill in November 2018.

On December 9, 2019, Air Canada Rouge began non-stop flights between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario and Quito, Ecuador; operating three times per week.

On December 10, 2019, Swoop launched its inaugural flight between Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Flights will depart once per week until April 21, 2020.

On December 15, 2019, Swoop launched service between Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, Manitoba and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Arizona. Flights will depart twice per week through April 23, 2020.

On December 16, 2019, Air Canada Rouge flights between Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and Toronto, Ontario became year-round service after having operated only in the summer. Two daily flights will be operated using Airbus A319 aircraft.

On December 17, 2019, the first Sunwing flight from Québec City, Quebec to Mazatlán, Mexico departed Québec/Jean Lesage International Airport. The weekly service will be available until April 14, 2020.

On December 18, 2019, Air Transat launched twice-weekly service from Vancouver International, British Columbia to San José and Liberia, both in Costa Rica. The seasonal route will run through April 25, 2020.

On December 21, 2019, Air Canada Rouge’s first international flight out of Québec/Jean Lesage International, Quebec departed for Cancun, Mexico. On December 22, 2019, service to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic also began. The flights will run through April 11 and 12, 2020, respectively.

2018

On January 1, 2018, Air Canada issued a travel alert for passengers using airports in Toronto, Montréal, Calgary and Ottawa due to a deep freeze that brought extreme cold, snow, and icy conditions. Nearly 500 flights at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International were either delayed or cancelled.

On January 4, 2018, a powerful winter storm, or “bomb cyclone” hit the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada, causing thousands of flight cancellations at various airports. Snowfall accumulation in parts of New Brunswick peaked at 60 cm. By the morning of January 4, flights in and out of U.S. cities impacted by the storm had caused approximately 15% of all flights to be cancelled at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International.  All flights were suspended at New York’s John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports. Flights from most airports resumed on January 5, however there were still numerous delays and cancellations. By January 7, many airports were still struggling to cope with a backlog of flights.

In early February, 2018, Cargojet began operating scheduled international freighter service between Canada and South America and added a second frequency between Canada and Europe. The scheduled flights are as follows: Hamilton to/from Bogota, Columbia and Lima, Peru (via Atlanta, Georgia), operating Fridays and Sundays; Hamilton to/from Cologne, Germany, operating on Saturdays.

On February 23, 2018, an Island Express Air aircraft carrying 10 people slid off the runway at Abbotsford. On February 28, 2018 the company’s air operator certificate was suspended.

Starting in March 2018, WestJet began service expansions on a number of domestic routes. From Calgary, some of these frequency increases include: Abbotsford, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and Halifax. From Edmonton, some of the expansions include: Fort McMurray and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. From Vancouver: Fort St. John, Kelowna and Victoria, and from Toronto, Ontario: Saskatoon and Victoria.

Starting March 24, 2018, Icelandair resumed flights, four times per week, from Edmonton to Reykjavik, Iceland. Previously, for most of 2017, the flights were six times per week.

On April 14, 2018, Porter Airlines increased its service to Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador; offering a total of 50 round-trip flights between Stephenville and Halifax between April and January 5, 2019. The flights will also connect with Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International and Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City on the same aircraft.

On April 30, 2018, Orca Airways, based out of Vancouver International, permanently ceased operations.

On May 1, 2018, Air Canada, operated by Air Georgian, began flights from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International to Eppley Airfield, in Omaha, Nebraska. This was the first international carrier to touch down at the airfield.

On May 8, 2018, Transport Canada issued a release stating that Saskatchewan-based West Wind Aviation was cleared to fly again, after having its operator’s certificate suspended in December 2017.

On May 25, 2018, Hainan Airlines began twice-weekly service between Vancouver International Airport and Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, via Tianjin Binhai International Airport, both in China.

On June 6, 2018, Ukraine International Airlines began non-stop service between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International and Kiev, Ukraine. Flights will depart Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

On June 15, 2018, Flair Airlines expanded its route network to begin flying from Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield Airport; Saskatoon/John G. Diefenbaker International; Calgary International; Prince George and Victoria International. This brings its operation from 90 flights per week to 208 flights per week.

On June 20, 2018, WestJet’s discount airline, Swoop, departed on its maiden flight from Hamilton to Abbotsford. The airline will initially fly out of Hamilton, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Halifax and Abbotsford, with additional destinations eventually being added.

On June 21, 2018, WestJet Link, a new regional air service in Western Canada, took flight. The service will operate under a capacity purchase agreement with British Columbia-based Pacific Coastal Airlines Ltd. WestJet Link will connect the Alberta communities of Lethbridge, Lloydminster and Medicine Hat and the B.C. communities of Cranbrook and Prince George to WestJet’s network hub at Calgary International Airport.

On June 26, 2018, Island Express Air had its license reinstated by Transport Canada after having it suspended on February 28.

On June 26, 2018, Air North launched new service between Whitehorse and Mayo, Yukon. The airline will offer up to five flights per week, driven by demand from the region’s mining sector.

On August 19, 2018, several British Columbia airports, including Kelowna, Penticton, Kamloops and Castlegar, reported cancelled flights due to wildfire smoke. In Kelowna, there was less than one kilometre of visibility, which would have prevented smaller aircraft from landing safely.

On August 30, 2018, Montréal/St-Hubert Airport, Quebec inaugurated its newly upgraded primary runway. The upgrade means the airport will now be able to accommodate larger aircraft, such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A220/320 aircraft. The airport hopes to eventually attract low-cost passenger carriers.

On August 31, 2018, Calgary-based Integra Air ceased operations.

On October 27, 2018, WestJet concluded its service to Sudbury Airport, Ontario. The airline had resumed operations to the city in February 2017 after not flying out of the airport since 2001.

On October 27, 2018, Flair Airlines ended all service to and from Hamilton and moved its southern Ontario operations to Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International.

On October 28, 2018, WestJet reduced its national capacity, decreasing service on many of its routes from across Canada and cancelling several.

On November 1, 2018, Oslo, Norway based Norwegian Air Shuttle began flights between Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International and Martinique, in the French West Indies.

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