158% increase in travellers reported at Hamilton Airport


Published April 27, 2023 at 3:37 pm

hamilton airport

People returned to travel last year after as Hamilton Airport saw a 158 per cent increase in passengers.

The John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (Hamilton International) shared its is 2022 Year in Review today (April 27) at the Airport Sub-Committee meeting.

After worldwide declines in travel due to the pandemic, the airport is starting to see a rebound. Although 2022 started out with global travel restrictions impacting the industry, those restrictions started to ease by spring in most parts of the world.

In 2022, Hamilton International saw 645,789 total passengers travel through the Airport, reflecting a 158 per cent increase year over year and a recovery of 68 per cent of pre-pandemic volume, according to the report.

“Our passenger traffic really rebounded from June onwards of 2022,” said Cole Horncastle, executive managing director for Hamilton International Airport.

Over the last few years, more travellers are choosing the airport.

“We have become very much known as a simple and easy and friendly airport,” said Cathie Puckering, president and CEO of Hamilton International Airport.

hamilton airport

People come from across Ontario, not just in the Hamilton area, to fly from the airport — some even bypass Pearson Airport in Mississauga, said Horncastle.

“Most people who fly from Hamilton are repeat customers, they really enjoy the experience,” Horncastle said.

Hamilton International Airport added Lynx Air to its network of airlines in June 2022, and welcomed back seasonal airline partners, Sunwing and Air Transat. Year-round airlines WestJet and Swoop increased Canadian and international flights from Hamilton.

In January, Play Airlines announced it would be flying out of Hamilton starting in June. Play flies into Iceland and then offers 26 connection points to different European destinations.

In addition to passenger flights, the airport is also known as a quick, easy and efficient cargo hub, said Puckering.

It is Canada’s third-largest cargo airport, facilitating 877 million kilograms in total cargo aircraft landed billable weight in 2022.

This represented a steady 14 per cent increase compared to the previous year and a notable 65 per cent increase compared to pre-pandemic cargo activity levels.

The airport also made some improvements this year. More than $11 million was spent on infrastructure by the airport and its partners, including $3.2 million in rehabilitating taxiways to enable the use of larger wide-body aircraft and support the growth of 24/7 operations.

They expanded security screening at the end of the year — increasing from three screening lanes to four screening lanes. This means just under 500 passengers an hour will move through security (up from about 360 passengers an hour).

The Airport introduced new accessibility initiatives and resources for travellers, including the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard program, providing passengers with invisible disabilities a discreet way to signal that they may require additional support, help or a little extra time while travelling through the airport.

Hamilton International also received two accreditations from Airports Council International, one for the Airport’s commitment to prioritizing health and safety measures and the other for its carbon management processes.

In the future, the airport hopes to continue to grow and recover to beyond post-pandemic levels.

“Hamilton International was excited to regain momentum on passenger travel in the latter half of 2022, see steady growth in cargo activity, and truly begin the path toward post-pandemic recovery,” said Horncastle.

“We are looking forward to continuing the growth trajectory in 2023 and remain committed to delivering on our vision, increasing our impact in the community and driving economic benefits for the City of Hamilton and broader Ontario region.”

See the full 2022 Year in Review report here.

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