CYOW reaches 5 million passengers

Ottawa International Airport has reached the milestone of five million passengers per year. It officially happened on Dec. 23, 2018. At year end, the airport served 5,110,801 passengers, which is an increase of 5.6 per cent over 2017, and a new record.

At the end of 2018, Ottawa International Airport served 5.1 million passengers. The distinction puts YOW in the next class of airports in terms of size. Andy Cline Photo

To mark the anticipated milestone, the Ottawa International Airport Authority launched “Sparty on the Shelf”–a promotion designed to engage passengers, employees and the general public.

In collaboration with the Ottawa Senators, 19 Spartacat dolls were hidden around the airport in restaurants and retail locations. People were encouraged to find Sparty, take a selfie, and post it to Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #YOW5million.

Prizes were drawn throughout the campaign, with the Grand Prize winner announced on Jan. 2. Tanya J. from the Smiths Falls area was the lucky winner of two round trip tickets to any destination served non-stop from YOW and $5,000 in spending money.

“Five million passengers is an important milestone for the Ottawa International Airport, and for the City of Ottawa. The distinction puts YOW in the next class of airports in terms of size, but more importantly, confirms that the local economy is doing well,” said Mark Laroche, president and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority.


“We are delighted with the positive response to our #YOW5million promotion to celebrate this milestone, and congratulate all participants and winners. We are also grateful to all of the passengers, airport employees, airline partners and other stakeholders who not only chose to fly YOW, but contributed to this achievement.”

While the significant increase in passenger volume cannot be attributed to a single factor, the airport’s large base of domestic flights saw steady gains, transborder frequencies increased with mid-day service introduced on several key routes, and international traffic enjoyed a strong end-of-year growth.

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