News Release - January 7, 2016
Comox Valley Airport reports record annual passenger count
YQQ traffic up 90 per cent since 2004
The Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) announced it served a record 351,530 passengers in 2015, an increase of 10 per cent over the previous year. YQQ has grown an impressive 90 per cent since the opening of the new terminal building in 2004, with 2015 being the busiest year yet for the Vancouver Island airport. The previous passenger record was set in 2012 with almost 328,000 guests moving through the terminal.
Ten Year Historical Annual Passenger Loads
"We are simply ecstatic to see such a high rate of growth for the year at YQQ," said Comox Valley Airport CEO Fred Bigelow. "These record breaking numbers are directly attributable to Air Canada's new service to Vancouver and the additional capacity and scheduling improvements by WestJet and WestJet Encore on our Calgary route."
Additional daily service to Calgary with WestJet Encore began in January 2015 and provided scheduling improvements by adding additional frequency to WestJet's Calgary hub from Comox. Then in May, Air Canada began its twice-daily service from Comox to Vancouver, providing additional connection options within the Air Canada route network and a continued code share arrangement with Central Mountain Air.
"A key focus of the Comox Valley Airport in 2015 was to increase the number of same-day connections available from YQQ," explained Bigelow. "It is now easier than ever for passengers to start their journey from the Comox Valley Airport."
Air Canada's new Vancouver route offers about 30 connections for Comox passengers, including: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Seoul, Osaka, Beijing, Shanghai, Honolulu, Maui, and London Heathrow. WestJet's added capacity opened up more than 14 additional WestJet connections for YQQ passengers, including sunspot destinations like Varadero, Orlando, Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale and Cabo San Lucas. With so many destinations to choose from it’s no wonder Vancouver Island residents are choosing Comox Airport to fly in and out of.
While YQQ does not expect to see such a high rate of growth sustained in the coming years, Bigelow says he is confident of the Comox Valley Airport's position moving forward.
"We are very fortunate in this economic climate to have experienced growth in 2015. Particularly given the elimination of weekly energy sector charter flights and large scale layoffs in Alberta that can have ripple effects in our community," explained Bigelow. "We are prepared to withstand some impact to our future growth as the economy in Alberta finds its footing. However, we believe the demographics of the Comox Valley, combined with our great air service options, will help us to ride out this turbulent period."
About the Comox Valley AirportThe Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) is an economic driver for Northern Vancouver Island, supporting about 193 direct jobs including airlines, airport management, security, food and beverage, retail and ground transportation. The airport and tourism business community together generate $367 million in Gross Domestic Product and $701 million in direct economic output for the community. YQQ is operated by the Comox Valley Airport Commission, which was established in 1996 as a non-share capital and not-for-profit organization to operate the civil aviation facilities, including the terminal and apron. The airfield and its associated systems, including air traffic control, are operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force at 19 Wing Comox on a continuous 24-hour basis.
Comox Valley Airport
250-890-0829 ext. 253