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Winnipeg airport increasing ticket fee to help make up revenue lost due to COVID-19

News from CBC News – link to story

Airport has fewer than 100 people fly through some days, spokesperson says

CBC News · Posted: Jun 01, 2020

winnipeg-airport.jpg The Winnipeg Airports Authority is increasing its airport infrastructure fee, which is applied to commercial airline tickets, to make up for falling revenues caused by COVID-19. (CBC)

Come September, it’s going to be slightly more expensive to fly through the Winnipeg airport. 

The Winnipeg Airports Authority is increasing its airport improvement fee $13, from $25 to $38. 

The fees help pay for maintaining airport infrastructure and capital project costs at the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. 

The fees don’t go toward operating costs; they pay for the infrastructure needed to keep the airport open and operating, said Tyler MacAfee, vice-president of communications for the airports authority.

Close to 95 per cent of the airport’s revenue is directly linked to air traffic, which has nearly ground to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the airport had to find a way to make up the difference, MacAfee said. 

Air traffic at the airport has dropped about 90 per cent, going from about 12,500 passengers each day to fewer than 100 some days, he said.

“It’s going to take a long time for that to come back,” he said. 

“We don’t want to have to charge additional fees. That’s not the desire in this, but we have to find a way to make sure that we remain sustainable.”

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"Come September, it’s going to be slightly more expensive to fly through the Winnipeg airport. 

The Winnipeg Airports Authority is increasing its airport improvement fee $13, from $25 to $38."

Slightly more?  Wow... that's only a 52% increase!

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  • 1 month later...

GTAA announces workforce reductions and restructuring due to COVID-19 impacts

Greater_Toronto_Airports_Authority_GTAA_

TORONTO, July 14, 2020 /CNW/ – The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) today announced a workforce reduction of 27 per cent and new structure to align with its business transformation and enable more nimble, innovative, and recovery-focused operations. These changes reflect a significant decrease in global air traffic, with passenger numbers at Toronto Pearson currently at approximately 1996 operating levels. In April 2020, the GTAA reported its passenger numbers were reduced by 97 per cent compared to the same period of 2019.  

The reduction of approximately 500 positions will be achieved through the elimination of approximately 200 unfilled positions, together with voluntary departures and layoffs totaling approximately 300 employees. The workforce reductions follow numerous cost reduction measures the GTAA has implemented since the pandemic began, including a hiring freeze, reducing planned capital spending by $265M for 2020, and temporarily reducing executive and Board of Director salaries. GTAA has also leveraged the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance programs, and provided deferrals for eligible corporate partners.

“Our leadership team and Board of Directors have worked concertedly each month to navigate these turbulent times and have put our people first. This reduction in force is a difficult but necessary step, and one that we take with great sadness,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the GTAA. “The leadership team and I are deeply grateful for the contributions of our employees, each of whom has been part of the success and legacy of the GTAA. We are dedicated to treating everyone with the greatest respect and consideration throughout this process. We are committed to maintaining our operations and the health and safety of the airport as we evolve our organization to drive our recovery. I am confident that we have a capable and resilient team and the right approach to come through these challenging times with strength.” 

The reductions come into effect beginning today, with departures extending through fall 2020. The GTAA is working closely with Unifor and the Pearson Airport Professional Fire Fighters Association to implement these changes for their members, respecting the terms and philosophy of the collective bargaining agreements. In addition to notice and severance packages, all employees will be offered career transition and employee assistance program support.

As previously reported on May 12, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic contraction has had, and is expected to continue to have, a negative impact on demand for air travel globally. Toronto Pearson has experienced significant declines in passengers and flight activity, as a result of travel advisories and restrictions by governments, flight and route cancellations and fleet groundings by air carriers, and passenger and flight activities may not return to pre COVID-19 levels for at least three to five years according to certain industry participants. The reduced activity is having a significant negative impact on the GTAA’s business and results of operations, including aeronautical and commercial revenues and airport improvement fees.

The restructuring includes the departure of two members of the GTAA executive team: Kim Stangeby, Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer and Interim Vice-President, Human Resources, and Scott Collier, Vice-President, Customer and Terminal Services. Their portfolios will be redistributed across the organization, including under the newly established Chief Operating Officer, Craig Bradbrook (formerly Vice-President, Aviation Services), and in a new centre of commercial excellence led by Chief Financial Officer, Ian Clarke. The GTAA will also complete a search for a new Chief Human Resources Officer.

The GTAA remains focused on safeguarding the resilience and sustainability of the GTAA as it redefines the future of Canada’s largest airport.

This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. By its nature, forward-looking information requires the GTAA to make assumptions and is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. These statements reflect GTAA management’s current beliefs and are based on information currently available to GTAA management. There is a risk that predictions, forecasts, conclusions and projections that constitute forward-looking information will not prove to be accurate, that the GTAA’s assumptions may not be correct and that actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking information. Additional detailed information about these assumptions, risks and uncertainties is included in the GTAA’s securities regulatory filings, including its most recent Annual Information Form and Management’s Discussion and Analysis, which can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

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On 6/1/2020 at 2:13 PM, conehead said:

"Come September, it’s going to be slightly more expensive to fly through the Winnipeg airport. 

The Winnipeg Airports Authority is increasing its airport improvement fee $13, from $25 to $38."

Slightly more?  Wow... that's only a 52% increase!

Likely the wording was done by some one who thinks nothing of paying for designer coffee.  😀   eg

Salted Caramel Mocha Venti $5.25
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Interesting that the airports are raising fees and cutting staff yet their Senior management and BoD's have not taken pay cuts! Same at NavCan - CEO still making $650,000/year and they want to increase fees by 30%. There is STILL a disconnect in this country.

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St. John’s airport cuts jobs after another month of losses caused by pandemic

News from CBC News – link to story

June saw a decrease in passengers by just over 92% compared with last year

CBC News · Posted: Jul 17, 2020

peter-avery.jpg Peter Avery, chief administrative officer of the St. John’s International Airport Authority, says 17 jobs have been cut at the airport as a result of lost revenue. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

St. John’s International Airport will be reducing its workforce by 15 per cent due to lost revenue under the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The St. John’s International Airport Authority, the organization responsible for the airport’s operations, made the announcement this week. In total, 17 jobs have been cut: two management and 15 unionized positions. Some were cut effective Monday, while others will require union consultation, a spokesperson for the airport authority told CBC News in an emailed statement. The cuts include three vacant positions that won’t be refilled.

“Ninety per cent of our operating costs are non-discretionary and we’ve made every effort that we can to increase efficiencies and cut costs, and right now without any support from any level of government coming, it’s just we’ve held out as long as we can basically,” said chief administrative officer Peter Avery on Friday.

“[It’s] some unfortunate news, obviously, when we have to do a workforce reduction. It’s the first time in our history we have actually done one.” 

In May, Avery told CBC News passenger numbers in St. John’s were down more than 95 per cent for the month of April compared with the same time period in 2019.

Just 5,424 passengers travelled through the airport that month. In April 2019 passenger numbers reached 117,228.

Avery also said in May the forecast revenue of $46 million this year was expected to drop by two-thirds as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

On Friday the airport authority told CBC News that June saw a decrease in passengers by just over 92 per cent compared with last year.

Small increase from Atlantic bubble

Friday marked two weeks since the opening of the Atlantic bubble, allowing residents from all four Atlantic provinces to move within the region without a 14-day self-isolation period.

St. John’s International Airport has seen a small increase in traffic since the opening.

“For the first half of July we have on average 320 passengers per day each way … in June it was about 170,” a spokesperson said. 

“By comparison in July 2019 we had approximately 2,730 passengers per day each way.”

st-john-s-international-airport-terminal Passenger traffic is picking up at St. John’s International Airport after the opening of the Atlantic bubble. However, Avery says it’s not enough to stop the bleeding. (Gary Locke/CBC)

On a regular day the airport will usually see about 80 flights per day, a combination of arriving and departing flights, but as the pandemic hit Newfoundland and Labrador in March airlines began reducing their schedules.

At its lowest point since March, the airport saw only six flights per day. It now has about 20 flights per day as a result of eased travel restrictions.

But the Atlantic bubble just isn’t enough, said Avery. 

“The Atlantic region is only a fraction of our total travel during the summer. Obviously the vast majority of our travel for the summer comes from the rest of Canada,” he said.

“That’s really what we think is necessary as a next step.”

Firefighting and security services have continued throughout the pandemic, and while most of the airport’s shops and restaurants remain closed, YellowBelly and the visitor information centre have reopened with limited hours.

The airport’s western wing expansion remains halted.

With files from Anthony Germain and Christine Davies

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  • 1 month later...

ADM Aéroports de Montréal Announces New Exceptional Measures to Maintain Operations Français


NEWS PROVIDED BY

Aéroports de Montréal 

Aug 27, 2020, 11:43 ET

 


MONTRÉAL, Aug. 27, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - With the closure of Canada's air borders continuing for nearly six months now, and in the absence of specific government assistance for a sector of activity that all international experts agree will not recover for many years, ADM Aéroports de Montréal has to make difficult decisions. Since the drop in passenger traffic of 14.5 million (-71%) compared to 2019 will lead to revenue losses of approximately $500 million compared to the anticipated level for the current year, the organization is obliged to tighten its budget revision program initiated last spring, in order to further reduce its costs.

Workforce adjustment

As a result, the organization has to adjust its workforce to meet the minimal activities of YUL and YMX and provide a service that corresponds to its current financial capacity. With 600 employees in its ranks at the beginning of the crisis, this number has now been reduced by 30%, for a total of 428 active resources. It should be noted that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy was beneficial by allowing to maintain the employment relationship of ADM's workforce in recent months. But the substantial changes to the modalities of the program announced recently make it too burdensome for the organization to continue to subscribe to the same extent.

"The postponement of Canadian border opening dates and the maintenance of a mandatory quarantine lead us to believe that there will not be a recovery in air traffic until the second quarter of 2021. Obviously, this situation represents the worst-case scenario and is putting enormous financial pressure on our organization. Our almost non-existent revenues are forcing us to make heart-wrenching choices that we have tried to put off for as long as possible. Today, we have to say goodbye to a part of our winning team, which has allowed the YUL and YMX sites to experience phenomenal growth" said Philippe Rainville, President-CEO of ADM

Halted projects

In addition, all construction projects that are not designed to protect the integrity of assets will be halted at airport sites. Teams will now focus solely on construction work deemed urgent. In doing so, the 2020 investment budget has been reduced by at least 50%, and the budget for subsequent years will be set at the minimum essential and safe level.

The project to build the much-anticipated REM station will continue only in planning mode until the conclusion of ADM's discussions with the various levels of government for a loan tailored to the current situation.

"Planning for the REM station at YUL is well underway and the entire project management team is in place. In the event that we have to suspend its construction, it would be a missed opportunity for a long-awaited project to efficiently link our international airport to its city through a green and modern infrastructure" added Mr. Rainville.

These cost-cutting measures come on the heels of the numerous measures ADM adopted in the spring, including a hiring freeze, the cancellation of salary increases, the temporary closure of certain areas of the terminal building, and the closure of one runway at YUL.

About Aéroports de Montréal

ADM Aéroports de Montréal is the airport authority for the Greater Montréal area responsible for the management, operation and development of YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and YMX International Aerocity of Mirabel. 

SOURCE Aéroports de Montréal

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For further information: Aéroports de Montréal, Public Affairs 514 394-7304, affaires.publiques@admtl.com

Related Links

www.admtl.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

Vancouver airport upgrades stop as air travel declines because of COVID-19
 28 mins ago https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/vancouver-airport-upgrades-stop-as-air-travel-declines-because-of-covid-19/ar-BB18SzCu?ocid=msedgdhp
RICHMOND, B.C. — The Vancouver Airport Authority is pulling the plug on some major infrastructure projects because it says the ongoing decline in air travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic means they are no longer immediately needed.

The so-called CORE Program was part of a $9.1-billion plan to build 75 projects over 20 years that broke ground in 2018.

It included a new central utilities building, geothermal heating and cooling system, and a ground transportation centre including a new parkade.

The airport authority says in a news release it will prioritize more immediate needs instead, including trials for health screening and testing and projects like airfield infrastructure that are best completed when the airport is less busy.

President and CEO Tamara Vrooman says hundreds of construction workers, designers, engineers and others have worked on the program over the past two years.

She says the airport authority will work with EllisDon Corp. on winding down construction with a goal of Nov. 20 to stop the work.

"Cancelling this major infrastructure project was a difficult but necessary decision," Vrooman says in the statement.

"I want to emphasize that making this decision is one more step in preserving the ongoing financial stability of Vancouver Airport Authority so that we can continue to serve our community and focus our resources on the immediate needs of the airport."

The CORE Program will be halted in its current state and can be restarted when the need arises, the authority says.

It says it will focus its financial resources on projects that support the recovery and restart of aviation, including improved data and technology infrastructure.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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I always love these stories becaue you just know some MBA in an office with a window crunched some numbers.  Problem is its usually the wrong numbers.

The projects were budgeted for years in advance and contracts signed to carry out the work.  NOW is the best time to perform it.  There is nothing to get in the way.  Shutting things down causes less disrupotion because there are fewer passengers.  Air travel will return eventually.  Get the big stuff out of the way now so its ready.

 

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The 2008 recession shut down a multi-billion dollar terminal expansion project at YYZ which still has not even begun.

Lack of revenue or lack of available credit (2008) brings big airport projects to a grinding halt.

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Vancouver airport to pilot pre-flight COVID-19 tests for select WestJet passengers

From Victoria News – link to story

22721275_web1_yvr-covid-tests.jpgPassengers who fly out of Vancouver International Airport could soon be able to take a COVID-19 test before they board their flight. (YVR)

There are currently no point-of-care tests approved in Canada

KATYA SLEPIAN, Sep. 16, 2020

Certain passengers flying out of Vancouver International Airport will have the option of getting a COVID-19 test as part of a pilot project being launched this fall.

In a joint statement from Vancouver Airport Authority CEO Tamara Vrooman and WestJet CEO Ed Sims, the executives said the measure was meant to instil confidence for passengers in an industry hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Canada Border Services Agency, air travel into the country last week was down 91 per cent, compared to the same week in 2019.

“We are working with government and health authorities to ensure the data we collect is useful for their purposes and we will be partnering with academia to marry our expertise in passenger movements to science,” the statement reads. “Our team will closely scrutinize the trial results to learn how we can further improve travel processes and evolve our safety measures as required.”

There are currently no point-of-care tests approved in Canada, according to Health Canada, although 14 are currently under review. A rapid test from Spartan Biosciences approved in April had its authorization pulled back less than one month later.

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Nav Canada lays off 14% of work force amid aviation collapse

“It’s going to be a long climb back.”

Wed Sep 23, 2020 - The Globe and Mail 
Eric Atkins - Transportation Reporter

Nav Canada, the country’s air traffic controller, has cut 720 jobs and is reviewing its operations at several cities due to the collapse in aviation.

Nav Canada said it will close flight information centres in Winnipeg and Halifax and monitor air traffic levels at all airports for possible further reductions as it slashes costs and services.

The job reductions amount to 14 per cent of its pre-pandemic work force of 5,100 people across the country, including early retirements and the elimination of temporary positions. All departments are affected, including student trainees.

Neil Wilson, chief executive officer of Nav Canada, said the non-profit company is facing the “toughest moment in its history.

“Nav Canada is not immune to the economic downturn and severe financial impacts the aviation industry is experiencing,” he said in a statement.

The closing Winnipeg and Halifax centres provide pilots and dispatchers with information on flight planning and weather data. These services will be available from the other five information centres, said Brian Boudreau, a spokesman for Nav Canada, which is reviewing services at several other small and medium-sized places, including Fort McMurray, Alta., Sydney, N.S., and Saint-Jean, Que.

Nav Canada is a private, non-profit corporation that runs on fees it charges operators of aircraft. It guides civilian air traffic through more than 18 million square kilometres of airspace, both Canadian and oceanic.

Nav Canada said August civilian aircraft traffic in its territory – including the North Atlantic and overflight – was about half that of the same month a year earlier.

Canadian airlines suspended much of their schedules as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March. Governments issued stay-home advisories, closed borders and imposed quarantines on travellers as part of the effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Most Canadian airlines resumed services in the summer, although Air Canada is flying at about half its usual frequency in September. Toronto’s Porter Airlines has yet to resume flying. Canada’s borders remain closed to most people, and travellers are required to self-isolate for 14 days on their return – measures the airline industry complains have deepened the industry’s job losses and financial crisis.

There will be no changes to operations at the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, spokesman Tyler MacAfee said. The drop in demand for air travel has driven down passenger volume at the Winnipeg airport to a couple thousand people a day, at most, from 13,000 a day, Mr. MacAfee said. “It’s going to be a long climb back."

 

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GTAA issues notification regarding changes to rates and charges

Greater_Toronto_Airports_Authority_GTAA_

Adjustments to aeronautical rates and airport improvement fee reflect significant financial impacts of COVID-19 and continued related investments

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2020 /CNW/ – The downturn in air travel at Toronto Pearson as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly reduced the Greater Toronto Airports Authority’s (GTAA) revenues, comprising aeronautical and commercial revenues, as well as its airport improvement fee (AIF). The GTAA has already taken significant steps to reduce and prioritize operating and capital expenditures, as well as reducing its workforce by 27 percent. At the same time, the GTAA has invested to meet changing demands for a healthy, touchless airport journey for passengers, and will continue to invest in order to position itself at the forefront of airport hygiene, creating a travel experience that is designed to restore passenger confidence.

In order to continue delivering on passenger requirements for a healthy airport environment, and to support continued strong financial liquidity, the GTAA is announcing the following changes to aeronautical rates and the AIF, effective January 1, 2021:

  • Aeronautical rates for commercial aviation will increase by 3%.
  • The AIF for departing passengers will increase by $5 to $30.1
  • The AIF for connecting passengers will increase by $2 to $6.
  • Aeronautical rates for all business and general aviation aircraft 19,000kg or less will increase to $575 per arrival movement.2

Commercial aeronautical rates and the AIF have not increased at Toronto Pearson for 13 and 11 years, respectively during a period of strong growth at the airport.

“The impact of the pandemic on Toronto Pearson’s business and Canada’s aviation sector has been nothing short of devastating,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO, GTAA. “These changes to aeronautical rates and the AIF follow more than a decade during which there were no increases to commercial aeronautical rates or the AIF at Toronto Pearson.  Today’s announcement will position the GTAA fiscally for continued investments in healthy travel and industry recovery.”

This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. By its nature, forward-looking information requires the GTAA to make assumptions and is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. These statements reflect GTAA management’s current beliefs and are based on information currently available to GTAA management. There is a risk that predictions, forecasts, conclusions and projections that constitute forward-looking information will not prove to be accurate, that the GTAA’s assumptions may not be correct and that actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking information. Additional detailed information about these assumptions, risks and uncertainties is included in the GTAA’s securities regulatory filings, including its most recent Annual Information Form and Management’s Discussion and Analysis, which can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

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AIF is supposed to cover capital improvements, not general revenue. What are the capital improvements planned with passenger volume at 20%?

GTAA “We are raising AIF to $150”

YYZ Passenger “But you are holding me hostage?”

GTAA “Yup”

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