Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Airport records increase in passengers

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THE addition of WestJet Encore flights helped to boost passenger traffic at Winnipeg's Richardson International Airport by six per cent in the second quarter of this year.

"We were pleased to once again see increases in passenger traffic this quarter due to expanded service and frequency from our airline partners," Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) president and CEO Barry Rempel said in a statement released Tuesday.

The WAA said WestJet Encore launched a new twice-daily service between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay during the quarter.

Sunwing also announced it will be adding Orlando, Fla., to its list of direct destinations from Winnipeg, beginning this winter.

The actual number of passengers that passed through the airport won't be released for a few more weeks, WAA spokeswoman Felicia Wiltshire said. But the increase in traffic volume did help to boost overall revenues for the quarter by 4.8 per cent to $24.2 million from $23.1 million in the same period last year.

Despite the revenue gain, earnings before interest, depreciation and taxes declined by 6.6 per cent to $11.4 million from $12.2 million. Wiltshire blamed that on this year's unusually harsh winter, which resulted in higher snow-clearing and plane de-icing costs.

On Thursday, the WAA will reopen the 3,350-metre-runway 18/36 after an $8.2-million renovation that included asphalt pavement resurfacing, lighting improvements and localized land drainage and sewer repairs.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 30, 2014 B5

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