Maple Ridge native Patricia Lovatt was named the 1 millionth passenger in 2019 for the Abbotsford International Airport. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford International Airport welcomes 1 millionth passenger

YXX crosses 1 million passenger mark in one calendar year for first time in airport history

Maple Ridge native Patricia Lovatt became a significant part of Abbotsford history on Monday for simply flying the friendly skies.

Lovatt became the historical one millionth passenger for 2019 at the Abbotsford International Airport, arriving to YXX on a Swoop flight from Edmonton on Monday morning.

“I just said, ‘Holy!’ ” she shared after earning the honour. “I always use the Abbotsford Airport because it’s just so much faster and convenient for me.”

Lovatt said she was grabbing her luggage when she was approached by representatives of YXX, Swoop and the City of Abbotsford. She received a gift basket full of local business products from Tourism Abbotsford and a $1,000 Swoop travel voucher as a prize.

She said she will never forget the day she became a “celebrity” and will continue to use YXX as much as possible.

The last five years have seen continuous increases in passenger volume at YXX. The airport served 487,833 in 2015, 530,643 in 2016 (8.8 per cent increase), 677,653 in 2017 (27.7 per cent increase) and 842,212 in 2018 (24.3 per cent increase) before crossing the million mark for 2019 on Monday.

Steven Greenway, president and CEO of Swoop, said the partnership with YXX has been beneficial for both parties.

“Abbotsford is incredibly important for us,” he said. “Our model is predicated on secondary airports – they’re much cheaper for the traveller than primary airports and are typically underserved. Also with a secondary airport you have the ability to walk off the plane and get to your car in two minutes – try to do that at any major airport in Canada.”

Greenway said YXX achieving one million passengers shows the desire to travel in and out of Abbotsford.

“It’s a huge deal. It shows the potential of linking a low-cost airport with a low-cost airline,” he said. “And Swoop was responsible for 540,000 of those passengers, so it really shows the impact that we have had here.”

YXX has four national airlines including WestJet (since 1997), Swoop Airlines, Flair Airlines, and seasonal service on Air Canada Rouge, in addition to Island Express Air offering intra-BC flights. The airport now provides direct routes for many major cities in Canada, as well as Las Vegas and Mexico.

YXX also does not charge an airport improvement fee, which allows costs to remain low.

RELATED: Abbotsford airport raking in millions, two decades after being bought for $10

“YXX contributes greatly to the economy of the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver, benefiting residents and supporting local economic development,” stated Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun.

“I’m proud of the careful and strategic management of this asset and I know that YXX welcoming its one millionth passenger is one of many exciting achievements at the Abbotsford International Airport, with many more to come.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

United Way grant provides food to 100 former prisoners, families

Abbotsford-based M2/W2 Association receives $25,000 to supply groceries

Kilby Park in Harrison Mills under water

Area is often subject to flooding, Historic Site will remain open through the summer

Foundry Abbotsford celebrates two years of service

Agency provides support to youth ages 12 to 24 and their families

Andrea Senft elected board chair of Abbotsford Community Foundation

Senft has worked for school district for 12 years and sits on several community boards

Abbotsford Police hold summer geocaching event

Residents invited to discover city while finding hidden treasures

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Ottawa jail inmates argue anti-COVID measures a breach of charter rights

The prisoners allege guards did not wear masks until April 25

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

President Donald Trump said the jobs report shows the economy is “roaring back”

Epstein pal arrested, accused of luring girls for sex abuse

Ghislaine Maxwell was in an intimate relationship with Epstein for years

B.C. repairs COVID-19 emergency order for local government

Ombudsperson shut out as his recommendations implemented

More than 50,000 Coronavirus cases reported per day in US

Coronavirus cases are rising in 40 of 50 US states

Trump plans huge July 4 fireworks show despite DC’s concerns

Despite health concerns from D.C.’s mayor, no one apparently will be required to wear masks

Canadian engineer detained in Egypt released, needs treatment, family says

Yasser Albaz was detained at the Cairo airport after a business trip in February of 2019

Most Read