In a sign of the resilience and recovery of the travel industry, Air Canada last week carried more than 100,000 in a single day for the first time since early in the pandemic.
Air Canada, which had daily passenger loads as low as 2,175 in April 2020, carried 100,0701 on April 1, a major milestone not just for the carrier, but also for the Canadian and international travel industry in general.
"We were very pleased to have had 100,701 customers board our planes on April 15, 2022, as travelers steadily return. Clearly there is a pent-up demand for travel that is matched only by our enthusiasm to welcome back our customers,” Kevin O'Connor, Vice President of Air Canada's Systems Operations Control, which manages the airline's daily operation.
“It is also significant that we passed this milestone smoothly, indicating Air Canada has recovered operationally from COVID-19's effects and is prepared to safely and conveniently transport customers during the busy summer ahead,” he added.
Even with the good news, there is still room to go in the recovery—Air Canada averaged nearly 150,000 daily in 2019 with a single-day, passenger-load record at 187,000 on Aug. 16, 2019.
In Canada only, according to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, overall passenger numbers have recovered significantly from the pandemic—April 10, for instance, saw 113,242 passengers screened at Canada’s 15 largest airports. That number is up dramatically from the 3,237 number in 2020 and even the 15,990 number in 2021.
However, the 113,242 figure is still down from 2019, which recorded 168,195 passengers on the same day at the same 15 largest airports, and regularly recorded daily volumes of more than 175,000 passengers. The high for 2022 is 114,084 passengers from April 1.