Passenger numbers are down slightly at Kamloops Airport in the second half of 2019, but more flights are on the way.
Kamloops Airport managing director Ed Ratuski said a two per cent decline in the third quarter of the year was the result of fewer direct flights to Toronto. Last year, during the same period, the airport had 37 such flights. This year, it’s about a quarter of that, at 10.
In total, 84,748 passengers passed through Kamloops Airport in July, August and September, compared to 86,610 passengers during the same three-month period in 2018. Ratuski said the decrease in Toronto flights was offset in part by growth on Vancouver and Calgary routes.
“We were actually planning for a larger decrease over that period,” Ratuski said, noting both the Calgary and Vancouver flights performed “well above” what was forecast.
Two per cent is not significant in the scheme of things, Ratuski said, with year-to-date passengers up overall by five per cent. Through September, the airport welcomed 269,974 passengers, compared to 256,921 during the same three quarters in 2018.
Ratuski is expecting 370,000 passengers by the end of the year — 20,000 more than last year.
Increased frequency in flights to Calgary and Vancouver is on the way, with Air Canada set to add to routes and capacity on Oct. 27.