Passenger traffic up 80 per cent at Hamilton airport, officials say

Passenger numbers at the Hamilton airport were up 80 per cent in 2017, according to new numbers released by officials today.
Passenger numbers are way up at Hamilton's airport, officials say. (David Hulen/The Anchorage Daily News/AP)

Passenger numbers at the Hamilton airport were up 80 per cent in 2017, according to new numbers released by officials today.

The airport says that passenger traffic at the John C. Munro International Airport jumped to 599,146 people in 2017, compared to 333,368 in 2016.

Officials say they're expecting those numbers to keep growing with new services coming to the area in the future.

"This is an exciting time for Hamilton International as more passengers discover the ease and convenience of travelling from Hamilton," said Cathie Puckering, acting president and CEO of the airport, in a statement. "The passengers are originating from Hamilton and surrounding areas including Toronto and beyond thanks to the wide variety of destinations being served from Hamilton. 

Puckering also says that that low cost carriers have made leisure air travel more affordable for millennials and young families, who can be seen at the airport on a daily basis.

The airport currently hosts flights operated by five passenger carriers: Flair (formerly NewLeaf), Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transat and Sunwing Airlines. A sixth, Canada Jetlines, is set to begin operations in June of 2018.

Passenger numbers at Hamilton's airport have long fallen short of expectations, dropping more than 100,000 since 2009. But the new discount airlines, and the bigger carriers trying to compete with them, appear to be turning that trend around.

The airport says that cargo volume also increased 13 per cent last year.