Charlottetown Airport numbers up in 2021, but there’s a long way to go

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‘We’re pleased with where we are compared to 2020’

Yakosu Umana · CBC News · January 28, 2022

Charlottetown Airport CEO Doug Newson says his team is in discussions with several airlines, and hopes to have a schedule of operators ready for summer in the coming weeks. (Jane Robertson/CBC )

The number of passengers flowing through the Charlottetown Airport in 2021 was an improvement from the “abysmal” year that was 2020, according to CEO Doug Newson.

The airport had 111,160 passengers in 2021 compared to around 71,000 the previous year, when the pandemic began.

That makes up roughly 29 per cent of the record-breaking number of passengers in 2019, which was more than 383,000. 

“We’re pleased with where we are compared to 2020,” Newson said. “But still have a long way to go to get back to normal.”

Last year, the Charlottetown Airport saw its best days during the end of July and into the first week of August. It was one of their busier weeks, Newson said. 

“We had three new flights starting, and within a five-day period two new airlines and a new flight to Calgary, and people travelling, people coming to the airport to pick up their family,” he said.

“We are hoping to see similar numbers or even better as we approach the summer of 2022.”

Summer plans well in the works

Newson thanked the federal government for providing financial support for smaller airports nationwide.

He said the Charlottetown Airport would have had “significant” financial loss if not for the aid, but the airport still isn’t where it needs to be financially. 

Newson says he wants travelers to feel safe when coming to the Charlottetown Airport. (Tony Davis/CBC)

“We just hope that in 2022, [we] will not see another setback where we’re at 30 per cent of normal levels,” he said.

Newson said his team is in discussions with several airlines, and hopes to have a schedule of operators ready for summer in the coming weeks. 

“Swoop has announced new service to Edmonton, we expect WestJet to be back on Calgary, but we are also expecting some other new flights for this summer,” he said.

“Even with the uncertainty we’re going through today, I think most of them have to move forward with summer plans here very soon and are quite optimistic that P.E.I. will be a popular destination for domestic tours in the summer.”

With files from Angela Walker