Quebec airport: ‘more brutal than the worst-case’

The Quebec Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) administration plans to reach “the bottom of the barrel” in 2021, with only 100,000 passengers expected.

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The epidemic is clearly hurting Quebec Airport. The forecast for 2021 represents a nearly 95% decrease in traffic compared to 2019, when 1789,05 passengers passed YQB.

On Thursday, the administration assessed its final fiscal year.

Despite the lower operating costs, YQB recorded losses of $ 26.7 million. “Returning to profitability,” the airport expects to be forced to cover a deficit of about $ 100 million, including $ 49 million this year.

As for the number of passengers in recent months, YQB says, “The reality has turned out to be more brutal than the worst-case scenario.” The public airport finished with a total of 535,111 passengers.

Management estimates that it will take at least another five years to cross the 1.7 million passenger mark.

“It is clear that this epidemic has affected all aspects of our activities.” Liz Lapier, outgoing chairperson of the board of directors, said in a statement that the situation requires great budget tightening and tough decisions.

New plan

In recent months, YQB has revised its strategic plan in order to diversify sources of income and ensure their sustainability.

The organization particularly wants to improve its passenger area, standardize regional air services, build a multimodal air freight center, develop an airport park and establish a US pre-clearance center.

“We are working tirelessly to prepare for the recovery so that our airport quickly regains this momentum that has surprisingly slowed. While we wait to see when a recovery will be possible, we are actively working on how,” noted Stephane Bouriet, President and CEO.

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