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YVR traffic remains below pre-pandemic level

Traffic next week set to be up 122 per cent from last year, down 13.4 per cent compared with 2019
A plane sits on the Vancouver International Airport tarmac earlier this month | Chung Chow

The global trend of people travelling less than before the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be seen at Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

The busiest Canadian travel hub west of Toronto expects 367,093 travellers to pass through its gates in the week between Jan. 30 and Feb. 5, according to data the Vancouver Airport Authority sent to BIV this morning.

Of those, 185,607 people are expected to arrive at YVR, while 181,486 people are expected to depart.

The airport's average daily passenger count next week is set to be 54,442, which is up almost 122 per cent compared with an average of 24,552 passengers per day in the same week last year, when COVID-19 restrictions were in place and the Omicron variant was rampant.

The airport's expected traffic next week is down by more than 13.4 per cent from the average 62,891 passengers per day that passed through the airport in the same week in 2019. The decline means passenger volume is about 86.6 per cent of where it was pre-pandemic, which is in line with declines in recent months.

BIV reported in November that passenger volume at the airport was about 86 per cent of where it was pre-pandemic. Passenger volume at the airport in October was about 86.3 per cent of where it was pre-pandemic.

The busiest day for travellers at YVR next week is expected to be Thursday, when 53,890 people are expected to pass through the airport.

That compares with only 27,791 passengers on the busiest day of that week one year ago, and 68,048 passengers on the busiest day of that week in 2019.

Statistics Canada released data last week that show international travel to Canada in November was down 26.5 per cent, to be 73.5 per cent of where it was in the same month in 2019. Neither it nor Destination British Columbia has yet broken down that data to show how many of those international visitors entered Canada through B.C. entry points. 

The most recent data for B.C. was from October, when the province welcomed 253,711 international overnight visitors. That number was up 147.3 per cent from October 2021, but down 26.3 per cent from the same month in 2019. 

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