Winnipeg airport increasing ticket fee to help make up revenue lost due to COVID-19

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Airport has fewer than 100 people fly through some days, spokesperson says

CBC News · Posted: Jun 01, 2020

The Winnipeg Airports Authority is increasing its airport infrastructure fee, which is applied to commercial airline tickets, to make up for falling revenues caused by COVID-19. (CBC)

Come September, it’s going to be slightly more expensive to fly through the Winnipeg airport. 

The Winnipeg Airports Authority is increasing its airport improvement fee $13, from $25 to $38. 

The fees help pay for maintaining airport infrastructure and capital project costs at the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. 

The fees don’t go toward operating costs; they pay for the infrastructure needed to keep the airport open and operating, said Tyler MacAfee, vice-president of communications for the airports authority.

Close to 95 per cent of the airport’s revenue is directly linked to air traffic, which has nearly ground to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the airport had to find a way to make up the difference, MacAfee said. 

Air traffic at the airport has dropped about 90 per cent, going from about 12,500 passengers each day to fewer than 100 some days, he said.

“It’s going to take a long time for that to come back,” he said. 

“We don’t want to have to charge additional fees. That’s not the desire in this, but we have to find a way to make sure that we remain sustainable.”