Calgary air traffic in April is almost completely anchored by COVID-19

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Calgary’s air traffic has gone back decades in the past month to reach figures reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Efforts to contain the spread of the contagion sent passengers at Calgary International Airport in April in a virtual crash landing, reduced to just 5% of volumes seen a year ago.

“Our airport has never experienced such a dramatic decline in its history, and we anticipate 65% fewer passengers than last year,” said Rob Palmer, vice president and chief financial officer of the Calgary Airport Authority .

“We expect YYC to grow from a record 18 million passengers in 2019 to around 6.4 million in 2020. This is roughly the same volume of passengers as in 1996.”

Global travel restrictions have eliminated virtually all international flights, while domestic connections have also been greatly reduced.

In comparison, the September 11, 2001 air strikes reduced passenger volumes at the facility by only 4%, while the economic downturn in 2008 reduced those numbers by 2.5%, according to the authority.

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