There was a minor drop in air passenger volumes at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) in January 2020, according to the latest statistics published by the Vancouver Airport Authority.
The month saw 2,021,535 passengers, representing an overall 0.3% drop over the same month in 2019. Volumes on European flights actually increased by 7.6% over the previous year, but passenger traffic fell by 0.5% for domestic flights, 3.1% for US transborder flights, and 1.3% for Asia Pacific flights.
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Runway aircraft movements during the month saw a 3% year-over-year decrease, including a 3.4% drop for jet aircraft — from 13,574 in January 2019 to 13,106 in January 2020.
Throughout January, the apparent spread of COVID-19 was a growing concern, but not a near-term emergency, as for much of the month it was mainly perceived as a crisis within China.
On January 31, there were approximately 10,000 confirmed cases in China, and over a dozen countries had reported their first cases of infection, with the World Health Organization declaring the outbreak a global public health emergency.
Here is a full breakdown of YVR’s passenger volumes in January 2020:
- 2019: 941,781
- 2020: 936,916 (-0.5%)
- US transborder:
- 2019: 495,491
- 2020: 480,076 (-3.1%)
- Asia Pacific:
- 2019: 405,194
- 2020: 399,816 (-1.3%)
- 2019: 74,716
- 2020: 80,428 (+7.6%)
- 2019: 109,635
- 2020: 124,299 (+13.4%)
- 2019: 2,026,817
- 2020: 2,021,535 (-0.3%)
The number of cases and the implemented containment measures in China and elsewhere soared throughout February. With heightened attention over a possible global pandemic, the passenger traffic volumes for February, set to be released next month, should show a stark contrast from January’s modest decrease.
Last week, Vancouver Airport Authority said it is forecasting a 3% to 5% reduction in its passenger traffic volumes throughout 2020. This translates to a decrease of between 790,000 and 1.3 million passengers compared to the record 26.4 million passengers clocked in 2019.
It will be the first time annual passenger traffic volumes at YVR will see negative growth since 2009, in the aftermath of the financial crisis.