The Abbotsford International Airport’s passenger volume returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, with 992,712 passengers flowing through YXX last year, according to general manager Parm Sidhu.
The 2022 numbers are the second-highest amount ever for the airport, only trailing 2019, when there were 1,008,176 passengers.
Sidhu said August 2022 was the busiest month ever for YXX, with 109,654 passengers using the airport.
October was another busy month with 102,057 passengers – the busiest October on record for YXX.
September also nearly reached the 100,000-passenger mark, with 98,881 touching down.
January and February were the lowest totals, with 42,712 and 46,874 respectively. COVID-19 travel restrictions and other obstacles brought that number down, Sidhu said. He said there was also a reluctance to travel due to worries about the pandemic.
Sidhu said the restrictions greatly impacted the first quarter of 2022 and he believes, without those in place, 2022 would have surpassed 2019. He said pent-up interest in travelling also helped the big increases later in the year.
“Had those restrictions not been in place, it probably would have been our best year,” he said, noting that, even with the restrictions, 2022 was only about 18,000 below 2019. “2022 will be remembered as a year of pent-up travel demand. Canadians love to travel and our airline partners here make travel affordable and accessible.”
Both 2020 (315,578) and 2021 (511,391) saw big drops in passenger volume due to the pandemic.
Sidhu said he is forecasting 2023 to set a new record in passenger volume and that this summer will also see large numbers in volume.