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Annual Public Meeting 2023 : YQB Plans for the Next Five Years Building on Solid Foundations

22 apr


For immediate release 

YQB presents its 2023 results

YQB Plans for the Next Five Years Building on Solid Foundations

Québec City, April 23, 2024 — With booming traffic, an expanded map of destinations, customer experience recognized for its quality, safe infrastructure with the durability to welcome future generations, and a financial situation approaching balance, Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) ended 2023 having solidified its position.

Approaching the break-even point

Thanks to passengers returning in droves and rigorous, careful financial management, YQB was able to achieve a remarkable feat: limiting losses to $1.21 million in 2023, rather than the estimated $9.8 million.

Increasing customer traffic

Traffic through YQB continued to trend upward, with an impressive 43.8% increase in passengers compared to 2022. A total of 1.68 million passengers passed through the airport’s doors in 2023, representing 94% of pre-pandemic traffic.

The organization attributes these results to the efforts it has made in collaboration with its business partners and the economic and tourism sectors of the greater Québec City area. In line with the 2020 forecasts, passenger traffic will probably not return to 2019 levels until 2025 or even 2026, with 2024 expected to be a stable year.

An expanded map of destinations

Thanks to the arrival of new players, the increased number of flights to popular destinations, and the willingness to take up the challenge of new destinations with long-standing partners, YQB has provided the population of the greater Québec City area and the entire eastern part of the province with access to even more destinations: 37 in total.

  • Flair Airlines: direct flights to Halifax and Edmonton in summer 2023 
  • Air France: return of the Québec City-Paris route for a second summer in 2023 
  • Air Transat: return of seasonal service to London
  • Air Canada: Québec City-Vancouver route extended through winter 2023–2024
  • Sunwing: new flight to Cayo Largo, Cuba

YQB has also forged an innovative partnership with Destination Québec cité. In September 2023, four Korean Air charter flights carrying almost a thousand South Korean tourists visited our magnificent region. These visitors generated over a million dollars in economic benefits for businesses in the Capitale-Nationale region and the rest of Québec, proving that collaboration and boldness produce results.

Additional services

Offering all the features of a large airport with the advantages of a small one extends to more than just the flight options. By partnering with Québec-based companies such as Blaxton Pub & Grill, Minute Pizza, Expedibox, and Atikuss, YQB has also ensured that the terminal remains as welcoming as possible and offers services that meet travellers’ expectations.

In addition, a new short-term parking area has been opened across from the terminal to provide more options and make life easier for those accompanying travellers. A hundred spaces have also been added to the outdoor parking area.

YQB received unexpected, prestigious recognition of the quality of its services following a survey that compared 120 airports worldwide, published in Protégez-Vous Magazine on Tuesday, September 12, 2023. YQB placed sixth in the magazine’s global rankings and first in Canada.

Building on our success

Over the past year, YQB has delivered on a number of major projects to ensure the durability of its facilities and meet passenger needs. Its teams have completed the first phase of work to rebuild the threshold of Runway 29 and renovate taxiways Golf and Hotel. Work resumed this spring with the aim of completing the project in 2024. YQB has also installed a one-way corridor at the international arrivals exit to improve traffic flow. These two projects, to name but a few, received financial support from the Government of Canada for up to 50% of the costs.

Over the next few years, YQB will face issues involving aging civil infrastructure on the airfield, capacity in certain key areas of the terminal, and equipment additions related to new regulations. Significant investments are anticipated in the coming years.

Looking ahead to the next five years

“As we complete the 2020–2025 strategic planning cycle, we can see that despite challenging circumstances and the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, we have made significant progress since 2020. We gave ourselves a mission: to work hand in hand with the region’s driving forces and create the winning conditions to improve air service and sustain our growth. That’s what we aspired to do every day. Fortified by our strengthened business intelligence and the enthusiasm of our community, we’re in a much better position to face these challenges than we were five years ago. We’re ready to move on to the next stage, building on a foundation that’s growing stronger every day.” — Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO, Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport

YQB embarked on its planning exercise for the next five years mindful of the fact that it is preparing to lay the foundation for decades to come. This major exercise will focus on stakeholder engagement and the pursuit of sustainable growth for the Québec City airport. In recent months, consultations have been held with representatives from throughout our community, including citizens of the greater Québec City area. This strategic planning must continue to reflect our business priorities, industry circumstances, and regional ambitions, in line with the work begun over the last five years.

“Looking back over the past year, the Board of Directors and I realize how privileged we are to play an active role in the success of YQB, an organization that is productive, modern, and has overwhelming and precious support from its community. At this stage, we will continue to rely on teamwork and the region’s strengths to support sustainable growth. Of course, our success must extend to all our stakeholders and passengers and have a positive impact on the region’s economy at the same time. No matter their role, everyone wants the airport to succeed. We’re all working towards the same goals, and we’re deeply grateful for that.” — André Boulanger, Chair of the Board, Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport


  • An overall result of -$1.2 million, compared to the -$9.8 million estimated at the beginning of the year
  • 1,688,736 passengers in 2023, 43.8% more than in 2022
  • 94% of 2019 passenger traffic recovered
  • More travel options added in 2023:
    • New low-cost carrier, Flair Airlines
    • 37 destinations, including two in Europe
    • Four charter flights from South Korea that brought over $1 million in spinoffs for the region
    • New service to Cayo Largo with Sunwing
  • New short-term parking area and hundreds of additional parking spaces
  • Minute Pizza, Atikuss, and Expedibox services added to the terminal and Blaxton Quebec Airport Pub & Grill expanded

About Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)

YQB is managed by Aéroport de Québec Inc., a private corporation responsible for the airport’s management, operation, maintenance, and development since November 1, 2000. Around a dozen carriers offer flights from YQB to destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Europe, and daily flights to the main hubs in eastern North America.


Étienne Cummings
Assistant Director, Public Affairs and Community Relations
Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport
[email protected]

To read the 2023 Annual Report : Click here