Québec City, March 19, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Aéroport de Québec inc. (AQi) Board Chair André Fortin and President and CEO Gaëtan Gagné today released the company's 2014 Annual Report at the AQi Annual General Meeting. As the report makes clear, 2014 was a year of development and growth, noteworthy achievements, and milestones, made possible by the community's ever-growing trust in Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport.
Growing passenger demand
For the twelfth year running, YQB passenger traffic numbers were up in 2014. A total of 1,574,699 passengers transited through our airport in 2014, up 6.7% over 2013. This outstanding growth can be explained by growing passenger numbers throughout YQB facilities and the strength of Canada's airlines.
Domestic traffic increased substantially, from 819,763 passengers in 2013 to 927,475 in 2014, up 13.1%. This increase in domestic traffic also had repercussions on transborder traffic, which fell 5%, as many passengers chose international connections routed through Canadian instead of U.S. airports. International passenger traffic flying into or out of Québec City remained relatively stable, at 373,174 in 2014.
"This remarkable growth is a point of pride that drives us to continue offering our passengers the highest standard of service in the industry every day. The news is good all around, with new destinations like Puerto Vallarta and Panama City, increasing flight frequency, and growing passenger numbers. All signs indicate that the future is bright and we are well positioned to succeed," noted Gaëtan Gagné.
2014: A year of building
For years now YQB passengers have been expressing the need for new parking facilities. In 2014 AQi responded with a new, 1,150 space covered multi-level parking garage. The $41.7 million project was started in May 2013.
"Our objective was to provide our passengers with a state-of-the-art facility that would also substantially boost our total parking capacity. We are extremely proud of the result, a fine example of the know-how of YQB management and project managers," Mr. Gagné continued.
Other projects were completed in 2014, many to make way for the upcoming international terminal expansion: the garage and fire station, both of which had reached the end of their service lives, were replaced with a new integrated facility known as the Airport Services Centre.
Airport management also built a corridor for search-free flights, enabling passengers to board flights without being searched at small regional airports and transfer to a searched flight in Québec City, making travel to eastern and northern Québec smoother.
Organizing to manage growth
Many of the projects undertaken in 2014 are steps toward the international terminal expansion, an estimated $225 million project. A project office of close to sixty professionals from a range of disciplines was established. The new terminal will feature a wealth of major improvements including a new dedicated baggage carousel for international flights, a reconfigured customs station, and a larger food court with a wider array of options. Four new bridge gates will be added.
These improvements will significantly enhance the experience of airport users in the years ahead. Construction will begin in 2015 and should be completed by 2017.
"Our vision is clear: develop the capacity to serve 2 million passengers by 2020, and join the ranks of the country's 10 busiest airports. To get there we must invest more in our infrastructure, and in particular move forward with the new international terminal," noted Mr. Gagné.
In 2014 AQi commissioned the firm SOM to conduct a survey measuring the general public's satisfaction levels with the airport. The survey once again demonstrated that public support for AQi projects is strong: 94% of people had a favorable or highly favorable opinion of YQB, 95% of respondents considered the development of YQB to be fairly important or very important to the region's economic prosperity, and 94% were totally or partially supportive of YQB's airport development investments.
AQi's 2014 financial results were further proof of sound management. AQi posted net earnings of $10.1 million in 2014. Revenues were $50.8 million in 2014, and operating expenditures were $42.2 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) totaled $21.9 million in 2014.
"We are extremely pleased with these financial results. At AQi we espouse a prudent approach to risk management and believe in reinvesting in infrastructure to build airport capacity and be ready to meet the growing demand for airport services," noted Mr. Fortin.
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. Over ten carriers offer multiple connections to various destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Europe, with daily service to major hubs in northeastern North America.
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SOURCE Aéroport de Québec
For further information: Mathieu Claise, Communications and Public Relations Manager, Aéroport de Québec inc., Phone: 418-640-2700, extension 2625