YYZ Tops 50 Million Pax For The First Time In 2019

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority today reported its financial and operating results for the fiscal year ended 31DEC, 2019.  Among the milestones is the fact the airport passed 50 million annual pax with 2% growth over the year. 

While overall growth was up due to increased aircraft load factor, aircraft size and flights on existing routes, the moderate growth, compared to recent years, is reflective of global aviation industry challenges in 2019, the GTAA says in a statement.

"2019 represented a year of positive milestones for Toronto Pearson," said Deborah Flint, GTAA President and CEO. "From a third Airport Service Quality award for Best Large Airport in North America, to surpassing the 50 million passenger milestone, the 50,000 workers across Toronto Pearson delivered an exceptional airport experience that benefits the broader region.”

YYZ is Canada's busiest airport and North America's second busiest in terms of international passengers.

Flint says the second half of 2019 presented challenges for the entire aviation sector. “In the face of significant international headwinds due to the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and the travel disruption from the novel coronavirus, we are working closely with our partners to care for our customers, adjust as needed operationally, and to ensure the financial sustainability of the GTAA and its related economies," she said.

During 2019, 50.5 million pax travelled through Toronto Pearson, representing an increase of 1.0 million pax as compared to 2018. Passenger activity in the international sector increased by 700,000 passengers reflecting 2.4% growth and the domestic sector increased by 300,000 passengers, reflecting 1.4% growth. 

During 2019, the GTAA reported total revenues of $1.5 billion, representing an increase of $49.6 million over 2018. The continued growth in revenues was a reflection of passenger growth and corresponding increases in commercial revenues.  

The GTAA recorded net income of $139.8 million during 2019 compared to $113.7 million in 2018 (adjusted net income, excluding one‐time adjustments, was $139.8 million in 2019 compared to $139.8 million in 2018). The GTAA has reduced its gross debt per enplaned passenger by 1.6% to $254 and net debt per enplaned passenger by 2.1% to $236, when compared to 2018.

The COVID-19 outbreak and resulting economic contraction has had, and is expected to continue to have, a negative impact on demand for air travel globally. So it comes as no surprise that Toronto Pearson has experienced significant declines in passengers and flight activity during FEB-MAR 2020, as compared to the same period in 2019.  

“Given the rapidly evolving situation, management continues to analyze the extent of the financial impact, which could be material, depending on the duration of the outbreak,” a statement reads. 

“While the full duration and scope of the recent coronavirus pandemic is not yet known, management does not believe, however, that the outbreak will have a long-term impact on the financial sustainability of the airport given its available liquidity.”

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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