QUÉBEC CITY, March 3, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Aéroport de Québec inc. board chair André Fortin and president and CEO Gaëtan Gagné today released the company's 2015 Annual Report at the AQi Annual General Meeting. As this document makes clear, 2015 ended on a note of growth and confidence—investors' confidence in our corporation and most importantly, the confidence of our passengers, whose growing numbers reassure us every year that we chose the right business model for the Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) by making them our primary focus.
A year of growth
In 2015 YQB recorded a 2% rise in the number of passengers traveling through the main terminal. This is related to a 6% increase in domestic traffic, due in part to expanded flights to Canada's hub cities. A 3.2% rise in international traffic was also recorded, the result of increased flights to southern destinations; five sunshine destinations were served by direct flights from Québec City throughout the year. Despite a drop in growth in general aviation in 2015, passenger traffic rose for the thirteenth consecutive year, for a total of 1,584,713 passengers traveling through the Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport.
"Despite an economic slowdown felt nationally and internationally, YQB achieved respectable growth," noted Gaëtan Gagné. "These results reflect the entrepreneurial spirit that drives us and our primary value, Passenger First®. It is the reason why we all work together to ensure that Québec City's Jean Lesage International Airport continues to grow and thrive."
A strong financial situation built on trust
Aéroport de Québec inc. posted a comprehensive income of $8.1 million in 2015, with revenues of $55.4 million and operating expenditures of $47.3 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) totaled $22.3 million in 2015.
In 2015 Aéroport de Québec inc. secured a total of $315 million in financing (including $50 million of revolving credit), the revenue from which is entirely earmarked for the capital program in the coming years, particularly the expansion phase of the international terminal.
"For us, getting this financing—to which leading Canadian financial institutions participated—demonstrates an obvious confidence in our corporation's future and recognition of our sound financial management," said Mr. Gagné. "Our financing strategy is not only helping drive our current growth, but more importantly it assists us in carrying out new initiatives in line with our primary value, Passenger First®."
U.S. preclearance center
A new U.S. preclearance center at YQB in the near future would generate substantial economic benefits and foster job creation in the region while making travel to the U.S. easier for our passengers. According to Mr. Gagné, "such a center is key to economic growth and tourism in the Greater Québec City area as well as eastern and northern Québec." What's more, the local population is strongly behind the project according to a SOM survey, with 95% of Québec City residents saying they were in favor of it. Dozens of business leaders, politicians, municipal representatives, and representatives of Chambers of Commerce have also expressed their support for such facilities at the Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport.
YQB 2018: A project with major impact in the region
Begun in spring 2015, YQB 2018 will see a total of 26 construction projects brought to fruition as well as implementation of state-of-the-art airport technology. All told, $277 million will be invested in expansion, but most importantly to maintain the growth at the Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport in the years to come.
"YQB 2018 is a major undertaking for the Greater Québec City area because not only will it generate significant benefits during construction, it will also contribute to regional economic growth once finished," added Mr. Gagné. "We are very proud of the project, which will allow us to accommodate two million passengers by 2020."
Structured objectives aimed at passengers and employees
A number of initiatives have been launched to make YQB 2018 a success, but also to ensure that AQi's strategic objectives are fully met. AQi has put the focus on human capital and paid special attention to developing the skills of its staff through various training programs and knowledge-transfer initiatives. Efforts have also been made to ensure employees and partners are fully engaged.
Moreover, our VIP lounge was voted best lounge in North America, all categories combined, for 2015 by members of the Priority Pass program. After ranking first in 2010, 2011, and 2013, YQB came in second for the second consecutive year as Best Airport in North America in the "0 to 2 Million Passengers" category, according to Airport Service Quality (ASQ).
About Aéroport de Québec inc. (AQi)
Since November 1, 2000, Aéroport de Québec inc., a non-profit company, has been responsible for the management, operation, maintenance, and development of the Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport. More than 10 airlines offer multiple routes to destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Europe, with daily service to major hubs in northeastern North America.
SOURCE Aéroport de Québec
For further information: Mathieu Claise, Communications and Public Relations Manager, Aéroport de Québec inc., Tel.: 418-640-2700, extension 2625