GTAA Reports 2.1 Million Pax Drop In Q1, But Says COVID Effects Won't Be Long-Lasting

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) reported a 2.1 million passenger decrease yesterday in its Q1 results, a 17.4% decline compared to Q1 2019. The GTAA said the drop was due to "global aviation industry challenges, specifically the COVID-19 pandemic."

"The first quarter of this year has brought unprecedented and dramatic challenges to the aviation industry due to COVID-19. The sharp reduction in air travel has had a significant negative impact on our business at Toronto Pearson, that is expected to continue for some time to come," said Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the GTAA.  

"As we continue to weather this current storm, we are focused on supporting the essential movement of goods through increased cargo activity. We are also looking to the future and working with our partners to explore new processes, technology solutions and facility enhancements to ensure that Toronto Pearson is positioned to deliver an even better airport experience. We are working with our airline partners to support the eventual recovery and once again connect passengers to points across this great country and eventually, across the globe." 

A total of 9.6 million passengers travelled through YYZ in Q1 2020, with activity in the international sector decreasing by 1.4 million passengers. The domestic sector alone decreased by 700,000 passengers, a 16.2% reduction compared to Q1 2019. 

The GTAA recorded net income of $6.6 million during the first quarter of 2020 compared to $10.9 million in the same period of 2019.

Q2 is off to a rocky start as well. GTAA says passengers travelling through the airport in APR 2020 dropped approximately 98% compared with APR 2019.

"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. The GTAA is currently undertaking a review of its capital program and is implementing significant reductions to current operating and capital expenditures and will continue to review future needs to better align itself with air travel activity and cash flow requirements," the GTAA says.

The GTAA says the government’s help waiving ground lease rent for Canadian airports between MAR and DEC 2020 will help reduce cost pressures and preserve cash flow. The airport also plans to draw on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, which provides a 75% wage subsidy for employees.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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