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Sunday, June 4th 2023

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YYZ." - Chris Myden

After more than 3 years - is this the month Canadian air travel numbers return to normal?

It's been 38 months since Canadian air travel passenger numbers plummeted to less than 3% of their normal levels back in late March / early April of 2020.

Since that time they've never quite recovered to 2019 levels. 2019 is still the gold standard for measuring 'normal' when it comes to travel numbers.

The graph above shows how 'normal' the particular month was for Canadian air travel numbers (as a percentage), relative to the same month in 2019.

Spring of 2022 - The real recovery begins

There was a huge jump back in the spring of 2022 when the numbers suddenly jumped from a dismal 40% to nearly 80% recovery by the end of May.

As we all witnessed throughout spring and summer of 2022 nobody was really prepared for this, including the airlines and the airports. Not just in Canada, but around the world.

Things continued to progress fairly nicely throughout the remainder of 2022, reaching 90% recovery by the end of the year.

Early 2023 - And then the recovery slows down

For most of 2023 the recovery levels have been stuck hovering between 91-92%.

In the first 20 days of May 2023 however, Canadian passenger numbers are 3.2 million - which is identical to the first 20 days of May 2019.

Victoria Day was 2 days later this year than in it was in 2019, so the long weekend Sunday and Monday traffic levels for 2023 have yet to be factored in.

So is this finally the month? Could be.

UPDATE - With 3 days to go, unless they are big days (not likely for Mon-Wed), it seems more likely that May 2023 numbers will end up at 4.95 million passengers, which is still shy of the 5.05 million recorded in May 2019.

(Approximately 98% of May 2019 traffic levels).

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3 Responses to "After more than 3 years - is this the month Canadian air travel numbers return to normal?"

    Has Gaius been here?
       Gaius on May 24th, 2023

    Sad thing is that prices almost doubled since pre-pandemic on all routes.

    Has deadcatbounce  been here?
       deadcatbounce on May 24th, 2023

    Can you link the source of the data? Hard to believe the chart when no source is cited.

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on May 24th, 2023

    Sure, you can find them on the CATSA website.

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