From record-low passenger volumes to peak travel days occasionally surpassing pre-pandemic volumes, in 2022, Halifax Stanfield experienced a dramatic increase in travel demand and ended the year serving 3,107,425 passengers. With passenger activity up 189 per cent, Halifax Stanfield was Canada’s second fastest-recovering Tier 1 airport and the country’s sixth busiest airport.
“Surpassing the three million passenger mark feels like an incredible milestone in our airport’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA). “Everyone at Halifax Stanfield has been working incredibly hard, and this year-end result exceeds our expectations and strongly indicates that we are on the right track.”
While COVID-19 continued to put a damper on flight and passenger activity early in the year, fortunately, activity took off in late spring, in concurrence with pandemic travel restrictions being eased or removed. Over the year, Halifax Stanfield launched more than a dozen new and returning domestic, U.S. and international air service routes. Two new airline partners, Lynx Air and Eurowings Discover, began offering expanded domestic and European connections, and two new destinations not previously served from Halifax – Windsor, ON and Washington, DC – were added to the airport’s route map.
“Our strong summer and fall travel seasons were bolstered by the long list of new and returning routes to domestic destinations, as well as the return of U.S. and international services, resulting in a more successful year than anticipated,” said Marie Manning, Vice President, Business Development & Chief Commercial Officer. “This momentum was possible because of the incredible collaboration between HIAA and our many airline and industry partners, concessions, and stakeholders. We are grateful to everyone who has played a role in supporting our passengers and partners in recovery.”
Additional service enhancements in 2022 to meet growing demand included reopening the Park’N Fly lot in time for March Break, allowing sun seekers and budget-conscious travellers to take advantage of this discounted parking option. HIAA also celebrated the grand opening of four new food and beverage concessions over the year. Now, seventy per cent of the airport terminal building concessions are open, up from 10 per cent at the height of the pandemic.
Other areas, such as U.S. travel, saw slower growth in 2022. Although airlines continue to be challenged by pilot shortages, there is a great deal of interest in resuming these services when feasible.
The International sector showed a stronger recovery in 2022. Looking ahead to 2023, it is expected that fewer non-stop routes to Europe will temper growth in the near term, but demand remains strong for services to London Heathrow (Air Canada), Frankfurt (Condor and Eurowings Discover) and destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico.
HIAA’s air service development team continues to work closely with existing and prospective airlines to increase Nova Scotia’s connections to the world.
“Ongoing challenges, such as the pilot and overall labour shortage, aircraft availability, and inflation, have made us cautiously optimistic about what 2023 will bring, but we can certainly look back on 2022 as a busy year at Halifax Stanfield,” said Carter. “We are proud to be Atlantic Canada’s largest airport and one of Canada’s fastest-recovering airports, and we are well-positioned for what’s to come.”
“If we didn’t already see you at Halifax Stanfield in 2022, we can’t wait to welcome you in 2023.”
Passenger Statistics Summary – Breakdown by Sector