YVR air traffic update: January to December 2016

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has released its final passenger numbers from 2016, demonstrating significant growth across all major sectors. YVR welcomed a record total of over 22.3 million passengers–an increase of 9.7 per cent over 2015–putting the airport on track to meet the goal of 25 million passengers by 2020.

Growth across all sectors at YVR has lead to record-breaking passenger numbers. YVR Photo
Growth across all sectors at YVR has lead to record-breaking passenger numbers. YVR Photo

“This is an exciting time for YVR as we celebrate a record year of growth with an additional two million passengers over last year,” said YVR’s president and CEO Craig Richmond. “We are looking forward to another strong first quarter in 2017, working closely with our airline partners to grow our global network and bring in more travel options and economic growth to our community.”

Year-over-year passenger growth highlights: January to December, 2016:

  • 22.3 million passengers, a 9.7 per cent increase over the same period in 2015;
  • 16.5 per cent increase in international traffic;
  • 7.6 per cent increase in Ddomestic traffic;
  • 7.4 per cent increase in transborder (U.S.) traffic;
  • International traffic (Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe); and
  • From January to December 2016, international traffic (excluding the U.S.) increased by 16.3 per cent over the same period in 2015.

Latin America

Latin America had a strong year with a 27 per cent increase, largely contributed by Aeromexico’s increased service to Mexico City. With the Canadian government lifting the visa requirement for Mexican visitors to Canada on Dec. 1, the carrier will further increase its frequency to double daily service at YVR in June 2017.

Asia Pacific

2016 was a big year for Asia Pacific with 15.6 per cent additional passengers travelling to this region, strongly driven by Air Canada’s increased capacity and increased frequencies by Asian carriers. The sector also saw four new services launched in 2016, including Xiamen by Xiamen Airlines, Delhi and Brisbane by Air Canada, as well as Hangzhou-Qingdao by Beijing Capital Airlines.



Europe traffic increased by 13.5 per cent over the same period in 2015. This increase was driven by the launch of the British Airways A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world, WestJet’s new London Gatwick service and Air Canada’s second daily service to London Heathrow.

Transborder traffic

Transborder (U.S.) sector was up 7.5 per cent over the same period last year. The highest growth periods were seen in Q3 and Q4, largely driven by Air Canada’s expansion of their transpacific hub out of YVR, which is attracting passengers from U.S. cities to connect at YVR onto other international destinations. With new routes such as Denver and Dallas planned for 2017, Air Canada will continue its expansion of their transpacific hub at YVR.

Domestic traffic

The domestic sector increased 7.7 per cent over 2015, thanks to the continued growth of Air Canada’s network and West Jets increasing capacity at YVR with new services such as non-stop from YVR to Halifax, London and Hamilton, Ont.

YVR’s growth in 2016 is largely recognized in Air Canada’s expansion of their transpacific hub out of YVR, representing approximately 50 per cent of passengers at YVR and serving over 55 destinations worldwide.

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