With Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) reporting that the number of passengers handled at YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport continues to plummet, the airport operator has had to implement new exceptional measures to ensure the continuation of its operations.
The YUL and YMX International Aerocity of Mirabel airport sites provide essential services to the communities they serve. As such, ADM must continue to provide safe and secure facilities for those who need to travel and facilitate the movement of goods and merchandise.
In 2020, ADM estimates that it will have a shortfall of $300 million. The recently announced new restrictions, the emergence of variants of COVID-19, and the extended border closure, will continue to put significant pressure on the financial performance of ADM in 2021. In response to the ongoing uncertainty and lack of revenue, ADM has implemented an increase in airport improvement fees (AIF) charged to departing passengers from YUL, similar to other Canadian airport authorities. The AIF, used exclusively to fund infrastructure projects essential to maintaining safe operations at YUL, was increased from $30 to $35 on 1 February.
In addition, aeronautical fees at the airport have been increased by 2.5% and landing charges for all-cargo flights as well as a minimum landing charge for all flights at YUL will be increased from 1 April. An AIF-equivalent fee of $10 per seat will also be charged for all non-terminal flights and general aviation at YUL, effective on the same date.
“The airline industry has been hit hard by the drop in the number of flights since March 2020,” said Philippe Rainville, President and CEO of ADM Aéroports de Montréal. “Although a major budget rationalisation exercise has reduced ADM’s operating expenses and capital budget for the coming years to a strict minimum, it is clear that stronger measures were needed to provide us with the flexibility to continue operating our airport sites,” he added.
“ADM is at a crossroads, although we still believe in the resilience of our industry. In the short term, we must ensure our survival for a period that is still difficult to determine. In addition, we need to ensure that we maintain the integrity of our assets while trying to obtain the necessary assistance to move forward with the construction of the REM station, which will benefit the entire community. While these rate increases will help us, they are far from sufficient. When the time comes, we will have to train the hundreds of employees we had to let go at the beginning of the crisis to ensure adequate service when the recovery comes. We know that governments recognise the drastic impact that the pandemic is having on our industry, and we continue to hope that assistance programmes will be announced shortly,” he concluded.