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This article was published 29/4/2015 (1634 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Barry Rempel knows he’ll never entirely eliminate the number of Manitobans crossing the border before they step on a plane but that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop trying.
In 2014, the Winnipeg Airports Authority estimates 280,000 people in its catchment area flew out of Grand Forks, Fargo, Minneapolis or other cities rather than Richardson International Airport.
Based on the WAA’s research, those people are flying primarily into Phoenix, Las Vegas and Orlando.
The "leakage" slowed down in 2014 compared to previous years, in part thanks to WestJet adding non-stop flights to both Phoenix and Las Vegas, plus the lower Canadian dollar.
"Our objective is to be as price competitive as we possibly can and thereby encourage customers to (fly out of Winnipeg)," said Rempel, president and CEO of the WAA.
If 80 per cent of those passengers could be repatriated to Winnipeg, it would likely mean another 60 flights out of Richardson International per week, he said.
Meanwhile, the WAA also reported a passenger traffic increase of 4 per cent in its first quarter compared to the January to March period in 2014. Consolidated revenue was $28.1 million for the quarter, up from $25.5 million a year ago, while earnings before interest, depreciation and taxes were $6.2 million, up from $4.9 million a year ago.
About 100 people attended the WAA’s annual meeting Wednesday morning, which was held at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.