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Halifax airport won't be back to pre-pandemic levels until 2024: spokesperson says

Leah Batstone says the airport lost $40 million in 2020
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An airplane taxis up a runway after landing at Halifax Stanfield International Airport (Meghan Groff/HalifaxToday.ca)

It's expected it will be 2024 before activity at Halifax Stanfield International Airport will be back to where it was before the pandemic.

That's according to airport authority spokesperson Leah Batstone who says the facility still has a long way to go.

COVID-19 has had an impact on many businesses and services across the province, including operations at the airport.

Batstone said Halifax Stanfield is seeing an increase in activity, but things aren't quite back to pre-pandemic levels.

"In 2019, we had 4.2 million people come through the airport, and in 2020, we didn't reach one million travellers," she said. "In 2021, we're expecting our position to be relatively the same, if not worse because in 2020, with the pandemic beginning in March, we had three strong months of travel in the beginning of the year."

But Batstone says they are in a better place in terms of operations at the airport than they were at the low point of the pandemic, when they would attempt to reduce costs. 

"We're at a point now where our escalators are back on, our lights are back on and we have most parts of the building back open," she said. "Our parking lots are still consolidated so the Park 'N Fly lot is not open yet. It's still not feasible for us to reopen that."

According to Batstone, the airport was forced to borrow a significant amount of money and lost a total of $40 million last year.

She says it could take some time for people to start travelling at the level they had before, adding Halifax isn't currently not offering the number of destinations it had in the past.

"Some of the routes that we lost during COVID took years for us to get and it's going to take years for them to come back as well," said Batstone.

She says there's still a lot of work to do to get things back to normal, but adds she's optimistic it will happen.



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Chris Halef

About the Author: Chris Halef

Chris is a reporter for HalifaxToday.ca and NEWS 95.7. In 2018, he won the RTDNA Dave Rogers Award for best short feature.
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