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Another record year for the Calgary Airport

Last Updated Jan 24, 2020 at 10:59 am MST

Passengers line up to check in at the international terminal at the Calgary Airport on Dec. 16, 2019 (PHOTO: Saif Kaisar, 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – It was another busy year for the Calgary airport in 2019, so busy it was record-breaking.

The Calgary International Airport said around 18 million travellers passed through its gates last year, which is 600,000 more than 2018.

“We’re proud to have achieved another record year, connecting tourists to legendary attractions, locals to that long saved for vacation, reunion or getaway, business travellers to deal-making meetings and cargo to buyers across the globe,” said Vice President of Finance for the airport Rob Palmer. “Our focus remains on ensuring every guest has a positive experience at YYC and in supporting our airline partners.”

The Calgary Airport Authority said more direct flights to Europe and the United States and the launch of WestJet’s Dreamliner contributed to the rise.

“They’ve grown significantly here at YYC,” said Palmer. “They’ve added some new international routes that they started flying last year. We’ve got London-Gatwick on the Dreamliner service and then they’ve added new routes to Paris and Dublin.”

It wasn’t just passengers that grew in 2019, the airport said cargo business also saw a big jump, just under seven per cent from the previous year.

All together, Palmer said it’s a benefit to the whole city.

“Just over eight billion dollars is what we have from contribution to the GDP to our region. We have about 50,000 indirect and direct jobs that the airport contributes to Calgary and surrounding area.”

The positive numbers come despite Calgary being impacted by the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max-8 jets last spring.

RELATEDWestJet removes grounded Max from schedule until June

According to the consulting group InterVISTAS, Calgary was the fourth most impacted airport in North America and eighth in the world due to the grounding of the Max.

The airport estimates 2,300 fewer flights and 300,000 fewer available seats until the planes come back in service.