PEI

Airports in Atlantic Canada estimate 92% drop in spring and summer travel

Atlantic Canada's airports say they need more money from the federal government to cope with a massive decline in airline traffic owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

11 Atlantic airports projected $76 million shortfall this year

Air travel has dried up since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Atlantic Canada's airports say they need more money from the federal government to cope with a massive decline in airline traffic owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Atlantic Canada Airports Association said Tuesday the 11 airports it represents are projected to lose a total of 5.5 million passengers this year, resulting in a $76-million net loss.

It says air travel in the region was down 92 per cent year over year from April to the end of August in comparison to 2019.

They are projecting a loss of more than $140 million in revenue this year.

Association director Monette Pasher says in a news release airports are using capital reserves or borrowing to cover their operating losses and debt obligations.

She says airports are an essential service and are providing communities medical evacuations, air cargo deliveries and transport for essential workers.

Derrick Stanford, association president and CEO of Saint John Airport, says the federal wage subsidy has provided some relief but airports need more financial support from Ottawa.

More from CBC P.E.I.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said the 11 Atlantic airports are projecting a $76 million loss in revenues. In fact, they are projecting a $76-million net loss.
    Sep 23, 2020 2:46 PM AT

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