Newly released statistics show Vancouver International Airport (YVR) recorded a total of 333,611 passengers over the month of October 2020.
This represents a decline of 6.5% compared to September 2020’s total of 355,414 passengers, marking the the second consecutive month of decline in passenger volumes. However, this is not necessarily because of COVID-19, as even during normalcy passenger volumes in the fall typically see a drop from peak summer travel.
The month’s figure was also 83.8% lower than the same month in 2019, when 2.06 million passengers were recorded.
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Domestic travel continues to see the greatest sustained rebound, accounting for the vast majority of passenger activity.
Here is the full breakdown of YVR’s passenger traffic for October 2020:
- 2019: 1,041,403
- 2020: 267,033 (-74.4%)
- US transborder:
- 2019: 473,467
- 2020: 25,092 (-94.7%)
- Asia Pacific:
- 2019: 358,623
- 2020: 29,415 (-91.8%)
- 2019: 138,736
- 2020: 9,724 (-93%)
- 2019: 44,754
- 2020: 2,347 (-93.5%)
- Month total for October 2020:
- 2019: 2,064,711
- 2020: 355,414 (-83.8%)
It remains to be seen whether there will be an uptick in passenger volumes — especially from the domestic market — during the holiday season, and whether the recent surge in COVID-19 coronavirus cases across Canada will offset some of the passenger rebound. Reports of known COVID-19 cases on flights are also now a regular occurrence.
But with the gradual rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Canada starting this month, there is reason to believe consumer confidence in travel will begin to resolidify, albeit gradually and slowly.
Over the first 10 months of 2020, YVR saw just 6.73 million passengers — down by 70% from the 22.35 million recorded over the same period in 2019.
Total runway aircraft movements over October 2020 reached 9,504, representing a 61% decrease over the 24,043 movements in October 2019.
Jet aircraft accounted for 4,980 of these runway movements — down by 65% compared to the 14,207 over the same month last year.
However, air cargo volumes have narrowed the gap towards normalcy significantly. In October 2020, 22,658 tonnes were recorded, amounting to only an 11% decrease from the same period in 2019. This may also be an indicator of the growing shift towards online shopping, and the gap is expected to narrow even further during the holiday season.
Air cargo volumes have incrementally rebounded, after dropping by 50% year-over-year in April 2020 at the onset of the pandemic.
Although it will not be used anytime soon, YVR’s new $300-million Pier D international terminal building expansion will reach completion this month. It was originally slated to open in June, but construction was halted in March, and then restarted in August.
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