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Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) has announced that Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport welcomed a total of 16.6 million passengers in 2016, an increase of 1.1 million, or 6.9 per cent, over 2015. This marked the seventh consecutive increase in annual passenger traffic at Montréal-Trudeau and established a new record, which has enabled the airport, among other things, to strengthen its third-place ranking on the list of Canada’s busiest airports.
“Air travel in Canada has been in a golden age for a number of years now,” said Philippe Rainville, the new president and chief executive officer of ADM. “The main reason for this has been Air Canada’s expansionary strategy, supported by low fuel prices and a favourable exchange rate. Aéroports de Montréal is very proud to have planned and built, in a timely manner, the new facilities it needed to take full advantage of that growth. The entire Montréal community is now reaping the benefits.”
“If the present trend continues, our annual traffic will be in the neighbourhood of 20 million passengers by 2020, propelling Montréal-Trudeau to the next level,” said Rainville. “The prospects for 2017 are already very promising: Air Canada’s new daily route linking Montréal and Shanghai, which will be inaugurated on Feb. 16, is expected to generate some 125,000 yearly passengers, including large numbers of tourists from China; meanwhile, Air Transat’s roster of destinations is expanding to include Tel Aviv.”
All three traffic sectors contributed to the increase. The biggest surprise was in domestic arrivals and departures, which surged by nearly 9.7 per cent in 2016, with the Montréal-Toronto route proving especially busy.
Traffic in the international sector was up by 5.9 per cent, remaining vigorous thanks in part to the arrival of new carriers, including Air China, which completed its first full year of operations at Montréal-Trudeau in 2016. Flights to and from Europe also hit new highs during the summer, reflecting the increased capacity deployed by Air Canada, Air Transat and international airlines alike.
Transborder (Canada-U.S.) traffic, meanwhile, grew by 4.3 per cent, with destinations in the American West (Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas, along with newly added Denver) and the three New York City airports strongly driving up demand.
There is further cause for celebration: connecting traffic increased once again, by approximately half a percentage point, to 18.8 per cent, thanks to carriers’ efforts to develop Montréal-Trudeau as a hub. In absolute terms, taking into account the strong growth in overall traffic, the number of connecting passengers jumped by about 300,000, from 2.8 million in 2015 to 3.1 million in 2016. Connections are primarily between the domestic or transborder sectors on the one hand, and the international sector on the other.