Civil aviation revenue totals $1.8 billion in May

More than 6.6 million passengers flew domestically and internationally on Canadian carriers. Traffic was up 8% from last year

Kristen SpruitAirline passenger travel continues to soar year over year in Canada, generating $1.8 billion in total operating revenue in May, according to a monthly aviation survey released by Statistics Canada on Tuesday. Passenger travel at the Calgary International Airport is consistent with national trends.

In May, more than 6.6 million passengers flew domestically and internationally on Canadian Level 1 air carriers, which includes Air Canada (including Air Canada rouge), Air Transat, Jazz, Porter, Sunwing and WestJet. Statistics include domestic and international travel with each passenger covering an average of 2,582 kilometres. The survey shows that traffic rose year over year to 17.1 billion passenger-kilometres in May, marking an eight per cent increase from 2017.

On a local scale, statistics from the Calgary Airport Authority show a similar uphill trend for the same period:

Domestic travel

  • May 2017: 941,300 passengers
  • May 2018: 1,006,792 passengers

Transborder travel

  • May 2017: 243,660 passengers
  • May 2018: 262,643 passengers

International travel

  • May 2017: 113,557 passengers
  • May 2018: 123,143 passengers

The Statistics Canada survey shows passenger travel on a national level is up 6.3 per cent from the same time last year, and has consistently been on the rise each month year over year since April 2014. In comparison, the Calgary Airport Authority recorded more than 16.3 million passengers in 2017. In the first half of 2018, the Calgary International Airport saw 8.2 million travellers.

Other results from the survey:

  • 622.5 million litres of turbo fuel was consumed by Canadian Level 1 airline carriers in May, showing a 5.9 per cent increase from a year earlier;
  • the number of flying hours totalled 178,000, up 3.5 per cent from May 2017;
  • flight capacity increased by 7.7 per cent to 20.8 billion available seat-kilometres, which resulted in a higher demand than capacity available.

The StatsCan survey only takes into consideration carriers that have transported a minimum of two million passengers or 400,000 tonnes of cargo in the year prior to the statistical analysis year. Statistics are a culmination of data collected through 200 separate business surveys. It is used by Transport Canada and the Canadian transportation industry as an indicator of country’s growth and performance in the airline industry.

Kristen Spruit is a Calgary-based Troy Media business reporter.


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