Airline revenue was up, according to Statistics Canada, but still about half of pre-pandemic levels.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) recorded the second highest number of flights – more than 19,000 – at any Canadian airport in October, according to Statistics Canada’s latest numbers.
The only airport in Canada with more flights than YVR was Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson with just over 23,000.
The number of flights in Canada in October was 14.5 per cent higher than in October 2020, but still almost 22 per cent lower than before the pandemic.
Passenger volumes have been climbing across Canada with October statistics showing 3.1 million people taking a flight, slightly lower than in peak travel season when 3.2 million flew in August.
The number of passengers flying in October was triple that of a year ago, but it was only still about 47 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in October 2019.
In June, there were only 844,000 people flying in Canada.
In fact, statistics compiled by the City of Richmond, show YVR passenger volume from January to September down about 80 per cent compared to the equivalent period in 2019.
Revenue for the major airlines (Level 1 carriers) jumped from about $367 million in June to about $917 million in October.
This is still well below the $1.9 billion that airlines earned in October 2019.
Travel industry ‘decimated:’ Tourism Richmond
The travel industry, however, continues to be “decimated” because of the pandemic, and any business they’ve had in 2021 has resulted from them constantly pivoting, according to Nancy Small, CEO of Tourism Richmond.
The city’s statistics show Richmond hotel revenue in the first eight months of 2021 was 35 per cent below 2019 levels.
This is, however, 68 per cent higher than the same period in 2020, the year the pandemic hit and international and domestic travel were severely curtailed.
But Richmond’s hotels have had more consistent business, compared to others across the province that have seen highs and lows, Small added.
She said this is likely due to domestic leisure travel, a small amount of business travel, for example, film and construction, small sports tournaments (until they were disallowed) and long-term contracts as well as hotels being used for quarantining purposes and to house refugees.