Edmonton International Airport saw dip in passenger traffic in 2016
International travel was down 9.8 per cent, mainly due to fewer people flying to sun destinations
Edmonton International Airport served 7.5 million passengers in 2016 — 450,000 fewer than in 2015 and down more than 700,000 passengers from its all-time high in 2014.
Overall passenger counts for 2016 came in at 7,523,864, down 5.7 per cent from 2015's numbers, the airport said in a summary report for 2016, released Monday.
Domestic travel grew by two per cent over 2015 while U.S. travel declined by 25.4 per cent, challenged by a lower Canadian dollar, the airport said in a news release.
There was a 29-per-cent decline in the numbers of general and business aviation passengers, many of whom travel to energy worksites.
International travel was down by 9.8 per cent, mainly due to fewer people flying to sun destinations.
But the number of travellers using transatlantic flights to Reykjavik, Amsterdam and London-Gatwick increased by 8.6 per cent.
"Although U.S., sun destination and charter traffic showed declines, our domestic and transatlantic-international traffic remained robust as travellers continued to support our non-stop flights and connecting flights though Edmonton, all of which will enable us to drive regional business growth," EIA president Tom Ruth said in the news release.
In 2014, the EIA's passenger numbers hit 8.2 million. In 2015 the airport served just under eight million passengers.
EIA said cargo services saw a seventh consecutive year of volume growth in 2016.
Construction was recently completed on a 211,00 sq ft warehouse and shipping facility, and work on the new premium outlet mall is underway.