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2016 Reviewed At Annual Public Meeting

(Gander, NL May 10, 2017) The Gander International Airport Authority (GIAA) outlined 2016 performance at its Annual Public Meeting today.


The airport posted revenue of $10.3 Million and net operating income of $1.8 Million, representing the airport authority’s 12th consecutive year of profit.


“All in all, 2016 will go down as a good year in turbulent economic conditions,” said GIAA President and CEO Reg Wright.


Passenger performance at Gander fell -2.5% over 2015, although 2016 still represented the fourth most prolific year for passenger traffic in the airport’s history.


Mr. Wright said the passenger reductions were due largely to airlines tempering seat capacity, a soft economy and political upheaval further abroad.


“Last year certainly held a confluence of challenge – falling commodity prices, recession, broad political change in the US and Western Europe, the proliferation of the Zika virus in tropical destinations, the soft Canadian dollar and cowardly acts of terrorism is Europe,” he said. “These were significant tests for any business, but we showed some resilience to produce a decent operating surplus to plough back into much needed capital improvements.”


The CEO saluted the continued investment in service by tenant airlines through trying times.


“We extend our thanks to Air Canada, WestJet, Provincial Airlines and Sunwing. It is the airlines who make the all-important investment in our market,” Mr. Wright said.  “Without airlines, airports are just big buildings with long driveways.


“We also give sincere thanks to each and every person who made Gander International Airport part of their travel plans. Every ticket purchased to or from YQX is a vote for the local economy and jobs. Make no mistake – our ability to retain air service in a trying economic climate depends on whether people choose to Fly Gander.  One telling statistic is that the average airfares from Gander to the top Canadian destinations in 2016 were half of the average paid 10 years ago. With attractive pricing throughout the market, more convenient flight times and more choice, it’s much easier to make the decision to fly local, which is the same as buying local.  Now, more than ever, we need Central Newfoundlanders to patronize the airport which is maintained for their use and benefit.”


Over the last five years the airport authority completed $20 million in capital works projects, including Phase I of its 150-acre Business Park, which drove increased lease revenues. Earnings from non-aeronautical income – defined as income from sources outside core aviation activities – now comprises 40% of the GIAA’s revenue and is forecast to grow.


“Without a doubt, 2016 will go down as a very difficult period in our province’s history. The economy has been listing, but we are ever optimistic it will improve,” said GIAA Chairperson Des Dillon. “The coming years will wheel out more challenges, but they also hold opportunity. We are focused on driving economic activity and growth, and increasing the prosperity of the communities we serve.”


The full digital copy of the GIAA 2016 Annual Report can be viewed here.


About Gander International Airport Authority

The Gander International Airport Authority is the not-for-profit organization created in 1996 to manage operations at Gander International Airport (CYQX). Gander International Airport offers scheduled and charter service from Air Canada, Provincial Airlines, Sunwing Airlines and WestJet.  The airport plays a key role in the economic and community development of the Central Newfoundland region. The airport’s economic contribution includes 1,260 full-time jobs, $90 million in wages, $140 million in gross domestic product (GDP) and $240 million in economic impact.


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For further information, please contact:


Reg Wright, President and CEO

(709) 256-6668


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