Jan 27, 2017: Halifax Stanfield has seen substantial growth in air cargo last year. 33,329 metric tonnes of cargo was processed during the year, up 4.1 percent over 2015. Much of the cargo handled was live lobster.
In fact, an estimated $187 million in seafood and lobster exports were shipped from Halifax Stanfield in 2016 up approximately $40 million from 2015. As demand for lobster and seafood continues to grow, especially to Asia, Halifax Stanfield is poised for continuing growth in seafood exports.
The airport served 3,908,799 passengers in 2016, making it the busiest year in the airport's history.
"We had a tremendously successful year thanks to our passengers and to the support of our entire airport community, as well as government and stakeholders," says Joyce Carter, president & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA).
"Compared to the previous year, our 2016 passenger numbers were up 5.6 percent. We are set to hit four million passengers in 2017 and we look forward to achieving this milestone."
The largest segment of air service traffic was in the domestic sector. Domestic traffic represented about 84 percent of all traffic and was up by 7.4 percent over 2015 (3,268,485 passengers). Contributing to this strong increase: WestJet's four times weekly summer service to Winnipeg and Vancouver, WestJet Encore's full year of operation with six additional daily flights, the launch of NewLeaf service to Hamilton, and Air Canada adding seat capacity to Montreal and Toronto.
Transborder activity represented approximately 8 percent of all traffic and was down slightly by 1.9 percent to 326,602 passengers. Positives in 2016 were WestJet's new daily service to Boston, additional seat capacity to Florida by Air Canada and WestJet in the winter season, and WestJet's addition of weekly year round service to Orlando. However, these gains were offset by the loss of both seat capacity and frequency reduction by US carriers, American Airlines, Delta, and United.
The international sector, which also represents about 8 percent of all traffic, was down by 4.2 percent to 313,712 passengers. This was mainly due to the loss of both WestJet's winter service to Punta Cana and Air Transat's summer service to London Gatwick and Punta Cana.
"In 2017, we will remain committed to growth and development of air services," says Bert van der Stege, vice president, business development and chief commercial officer, HIAA.
"We will focus on participating with airlines, industry and tourism agencies; pursuing new market opportunities in Europe, Asia and the United States; and promoting our advantages as Atlantic Canada's air gateway."