Abbotsford International Airport (Tim Sward photo)

Abbotsford Airport to cut airlines’ terminal fees in half for international flights

Goal is to attract new routes following impact of COVID-19

Abbotsford Airport (YXX) will reduce its general terminal fees by more than half for international flights as a way to attract new routes following the impact of COVID-19.

Airport general manager Parm Sidhu appeared before council on Monday (July 26), saying the pandemic has greatly impacted the industry, but the airport is set for recovery domestically and wants to be able to attract and grow international flights.

“As restrictions lift, we’re talking to airlines regularly about adding capacity. The earliest would be winter 2021 and, more additionally, into 2022 as restrictions lift around international flying,” Sidhu said.

A staff report to council states that there are currently separate general terminal fees (GTF) for domestic and international flights. But airlines have requested there be one common rate.

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This would reduce the GTF for international flights from $1.78 per seat to 81 cents.

Based on pre-pandemic levels of about 25 flights a month, this would result in a loss of approximately $4,600 a month and $27,600 annually for the airport, the report indicates.

“As YXX currently has no international flights, this is seen as an ‘opportunity cost’ as opposed to ‘lost revenue,’ ” the report states.

However, the report says some of those losses will be made up through pay parking, restaurant, car rental and gift-shop concession fees.

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The report says airlines operating out of YXX hope to re-establish flights to Puerto Vallarta and Las Vegas this winter.

Others hope to be able to provide routes not previously offered at the airport.

The airport will also eliminate landing and terminal fees for one year on new year-round international routes and for up to two years on new international routes that operate seasonally (typically from Nov. 1 to May 15).

Council gave the first three readings to the proposed amendment to the Abbotsford Airport Fee Bylaw, with final adoption expected soon.

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