PEI

Increase in passengers bodes well for future flights, says Charlottetown airport CEO

The number of passengers at the Charlottetown Airport went up for the third straight year in 2018, paving the way for increased capacity in the future, the airport authority says.

Traffic has increased 25 per cent over last 5 years, airport authority says

The Charlottetown Airport saw 370,730 passengers in 2018, narrowly breaking its record of 370,688 set in 2017. (Stephanie Brown/CBC News)

The number of passengers at the Charlottetown Airport went up for the third straight year in 2018, paving the way for increased capacity in the future, the airport authority says.

From January through December, the airport saw 370,730 passengers, narrowly breaking its record of 370,688 set in 2017. Over the past five years, traffic has increased by 25 per cent, according to figures supplied by the airport authority.

"We're certainly pleased with the direction that things are going," said Doug Newson, CEO of the airport authority, in an interview on CBC News: Compass.

"Obviously there is still a lot of work to do and we're not sitting back and not aggressively targeting more air service but  for the year of 2018 we're certainly pleased with out everything turned out."

The number of passengers increased despite a decrease in the number of flights and seat capacity last winter. WestJet reduced its direct flights from Charlottetown to Toronto from four to three days a week, and dropped its direct flights from Charlottetown to Orlando, Fla.

Charlottetown Airport Authority CEO Doug Newson says full flights, a new runway and the popularity of P.E.I. as a tourist destination bodes well for attracting more flights. (CBC)

Last year also saw the completion of the $18-million runway project, the largest infrastructure investment in the airport's history.

Newson said fuller planes and the improved runway, as well as the popularity of P.E.I. tourist attractions, bode well for attracting more flights to Charlottetown.

"We've had very positive discussions with the airlines," he said. "We are expecting to see some capacity increases this summer."

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With files from CBC News: Compass

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