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Sunday, June 23rd 2024

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YEG." - Chris Myden

Nearly 3 and a half years later this might be the month Canadian airport traffic levels return to 100%

It's been 40 months since passenger numbers at Canadian airports plummeted to less than 3% of their normal traffic levels back in late March / early April of 2020.

Since that time they've never quite recovered to 2019 levels. 2019 is still the gold standard for measuring 'normal' when it comes to travel numbers.

The graph above shows how 'normal' the particular month was for Canadian airport passenger numbers (as a percentage), relative to the same month in 2019.

Spring of 2022 - The real recovery begins

There was a huge jump back in the spring of 2022 when Canadian airport traffic levels suddenly jumped from a dismal 40% to nearly 80% recovered by the end of May.

As we all witnessed throughout spring and summer of 2022 nobody was really prepared for this, including the airlines and the airports. Or the passport offices. Not just in Canada, but around the world.

Things continued to progress fairly nicely throughout the remainder of 2022, reaching 90% recovery by the end of the year.

Early 2023 - And then the recovery slows down

For the first quarter of 2023 the recovery levels remained stuck hovering between 91-92%. The airports might have felt just as busy as 2019, and they were close, but they weren't quite there yet.

In April that number increased slightly to 94%. And then in May it jumped again, to 98%.

For a moment it seemed that surely June was going to be the month that traffic levels were back to 100%. But June 2023 would end up topping out at 98% as well.

But here we are, 26 days into July, with the first 23 days worth of CATSA numbers having already been reported.

For the first 23 days of July, the traffic levels have been almost exactly 100% of the first 23 days in July 2019.

With 8 days remaining to be counted, at the current pace, 6,168,327 passengers will have travelled through Canadian airports this month.

Which is 3,627 more than in July of 2019.

So yeah, it's gonna be close. But this might be the month.

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