Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/10/2020 (403 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THERE were a few more travellers shuffling around the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport during the third quarter than last quarter, but the Winnipeg Airports Authority remains in a serious financial bind.
During the quarter, revenue was down 60 per cent compared to the same period last year even though passenger traffic was down 85 per cent. While it has been working hard at cutting expenses, 85 per cent of its operating costs are fixed.
While the Richardson airport relies on passenger traffic for 90 per cent of its revenue, the WAA was able to make up some of that loss from third party work that its subsidiary, Winnipeg Airport Services Corp. (WASCO), brings in.
Last quarter, WASCO was contracted to deliver airport management services at Stephenville Airport in Newfoundland and Labrador. It now has a presence across the country.
Tyler MacAfee, the WAA’s vice-president communications and government relations, said. "Our subsidiaries have not been as impacted by the pandemic (as the airport has), so we continue to provide services like airport safety management consulting to airports in Nunavut and others through WASCO. It is really an endorsement for the diversified model we have."
While he said the Stephenville isn’t a major contract, "it certainly helps at a time like this."
Air cargo continues to be a vital component of the economic reality for the WAA, with the number of cargo plane landings up by 1.85 per cent in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
The WAA, along with all the major airports in the country, are looking for federal government support to maintain it vital service. But nothing has materialized yet.
"We continue to wait," MacAfee said. "There are lots of rumblings, and trial balloons floated in the media, but nothing concrete yet."
Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.