For immediate release
YQB presents a recovery plan with benefits for all of Québec
Québec City, December 2, 2020 – Determined to turn the pandemic into an opportunity for growth and reorientation, Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) is proud to present a recovery plan that will further its role as a driver of regional economic development, diversify its sources of revenue, and be part of the government’s recovery efforts.
The resilient organization has developed a five-pronged plan that will generate significant economic benefits, strengthening and improving the economy of not just the Québec City area, but all of Northern and Eastern Quebec.
1. Optimization of the catchment area
YQB’s catchment area—the geographical region where potential passengers are located—needs to be optimized. Before the pandemic, YQB was “losing” 1.3 million passengers to other airports, creating a need to generate traffic on departing flights to show the commercial potential of routes through the airport. YQB intends to realize its full potential through a number of measures: revising parking fees, paying incentives to travel agencies, launching initiatives to add a local touch to the terminal, and releasing a promotional campaign once the health crisis is over.
2. Consolidation of regional air services
As part of the provincial Ministry of Transport’s task force on regional air transportation, YQB showed that using the airport as a hub for an optimized regional network would be economically viable. Moreover, YQB needs to be able to count on that traffic to expand its international routes. Finally, Québec City has the infrastructure and equipment needed to host this type of regional network.
3. Creation of an intermodal logistics centre
Building an intermodal airfreight centre at YQB itself would allow goods to be transported by air or truck, then transshipped. This trend of diversifying activities and sources of revenue is widespread among airport companies. More than ever, the financial contributions of airfreight have become essential to the viability of commercial routes. Estimated cost: $25M
4. Development of an airport park
YQB is seeking to develop 1.2 million square metres of land in the heart of the provincial capital. This is a key element of the recovery plan, especially since the industrial parks in the Capitale-Nationale region are 97% full. Over the next 10 to 15 years, dozens of businesses could come to the YQB park, helping the region prosper. This project would involve three phases and an investment of some $70M.
5. Opening of an United States pre-clearance centre
YQB’s pre-clearance centre is another key part of the recovery plan. Although it is not a short-term priority, this centre is still essential considering that opening up to international markets remains a major challenge for the attractiveness of the Capitale-Nationale area. In the meantime, YQB is aiming to start discussing funding possibilities with the different levels of government now. Project cost: $75M
Like all airports across the country, YQB was hit hard by COVID-19. Its momentum was brought to a halt as its flight volumes evaporated and its operating revenues plummeted by 88%. Based on forecasts by industry experts, YQB estimates that traffic won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.
That said, YQB’s health measures, which have been in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, recently received the Airport Health Accreditation global seal of excellence from Airports Council International. Learn more
Quote (translated from French):
“This recovery plan includes investments that will help us not just get through this global crisis, but come out stronger, equipped with levers to generate growth, reduce our vulnerability, and strengthen and develop the entire region. That said, while this plan is promising, we cannot afford to go it alone. This plan will not see the light of day without the financial support of the provincial and federal governments and the support of the City and all of the stakeholders in our area. This needs to be a project for the whole region, supported by its business community and its leaders.”
- Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO
About Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
YQB is managed by Aéroport de Québec Inc., the private corporation responsible since November 1, 2000, for the management, operation, maintenance and development of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB). More than 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.
Advisor, Communications and Media Relations
Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport
Phone: 418-640‑2700, ext. 2624