Québec City, April 18, 2019. – A historic increase in passenger traffic, exceptional financial health, and the delivery of world-class infrastructures: Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) unveiled its outstanding results this morning. Following the corporation's annual general meeting and in light of the 2018 annual report, President and CEO Gaëtan Gagné signed off on a positive set of results that points to a promising future. The new chair of YQB's board of directors, Jean-Claude Labbé, spoke at length about the major contribution made by Mr. Fortin and Mr. Gagné in recent years.
"Mr. Fortin and Mr. Gagné brought the biggest project in our history to a successful conclusion and gave concrete expression to a vision for the future that will benefit the entire community in the greater Québec City area, with support from our highly-experienced teams. Their efforts will have repercussions for the future of our region, in particular because of the creation of cutting-edge infrastructures and the signing of an agreement in principle for the establishment of a US customs preclearance centre at YQB," Mr. Labbé mentioned at the start of the meeting.
A favourable response from passengers and airlines
The year 2018 ended on a note of historic growth, as Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport announced a 6.2% increase in passenger traffic to a new record of 1,774,871 passengers, 104,000 more than in 2017.
During the year, several airlines increased the number of flights from YQB. WestJet added a new destination, Calgary, along with new flights to Toronto, while American Airlines doubled its capacity on flights to the US, in particular by increasing service to Philadelphia. The same airline also plans to improve its schedule in 2019 with new flights to Chicago during the summer. The establishment of Air Canada Rouge in Québec City on the Québec-Montréal and Québec-Toronto corridors has been welcomed by passengers, while Air Transat has added new destinations at YQB and increased the frequency of flights to Montréal during the summer to allow passengers to catch connecting flights to European destinations. Last, Sunwing added Puerto Vallarta and Miami to its list of destinations, and also improved its summer schedule at YQB. Earlier this year, YQB signed an agreement in principle with Canada Jetlines Ltd., which intends to provide service from YQB in the future.
"I have been working to develop our airport and our region for more than two decades. I am proud to note that passenger travel at YQB has increased from 643,000 passengers in 2001 to 1.775 million passengers in 2018. The fact that passenger numbers have practically tripled over this period is not down to chance, but the result of an orchestrated plan with a clear emphasis on putting the Passenger First. I would like to mention the commitment and passion driving my team's work. We have achieved a lot and we can face our next challenges with confidence and enthusiasm," says Gaëtan Gagné, President and CEO of YQB.
Enviable financial results and infrastructures
As passenger traffic and airline service continues to grow, YQB is coming to the end of the largest expansion project in its history and putting the finishing touches to world-class infrastructures at YQB that will allow it to deal with further expected growth in air traffic and meet the needs of passengers from near and far. At the same time, YQB ended the year 2018 with an overall result of $11.1 million, after posting revenues of $68.2 million and operating expenditure of $57 million. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $27.7 million in 2018. All YQB profits are reinvested to increase the range of services for passengers and limit the use of debt in financing development projects.
"We are delighted to see the financial results achieved by YQB. It is important to note, also, that we continue to take a prudent approach to risk management, while planning to invest in infrastructures to increase our capacity and meet the growing demand for airport services," states the outgoing chair of the board of directors, André Fortin.
A promising future
The new chair of the board of directors took the opportunity at the annual general meeting to report on the process to recruit a new President and Chief Executive Officer and confirm the appointment of Stéphane Poirier, an experienced manager with over 20 years experience in the air transportation industry. He is scheduled to take up his duties on April 23, 2019.
"We are extremely proud to announce Mr. Poirier's arrival at YQB. Our goal was to find an experienced manager with in-depth knowledge of the air transportation industry and we can now say: mission accomplished!", Mr. Labbé concluded.
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. Around a dozen carriers use YQB to offer connections to North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe, and daily flights to the main hubs in eastern North America.
- 2019 – Best Environmental Practices – ACI-NA
- 2019 and 2018 – Employee Recommended Workplace Awards, presented by Morneau Shepell and The Globe and Mail
- 2018 – Airport Innovation & Excellence Award – Canadian Tourism Awards
- 2018 – Excellence in Communication Practices – ACI-NA
- 2018 – INOVA Award from the Urban Development Institute of Québec
- 2018 – Level 2 Airport Carbon Accreditation certification
- 2018 – Grands Prix du génie-conseil québécois – Mechanical and electrical building engineering
- 2017 and 2015 – Priority Pass Lounge of the Year Awards – Best lounge in North America
- 2017 – Élixir PMI-Montréal award for outstanding management of the YQB 2018 project
- 2017 – Boomerang Award – Website or application – Service of the Year award for the "YQB, Aéroport de Québec" mobile app
- 2016 – Boomerang Award – Website or application – Service of the Year award for the "aeroportdequebec.com" website
- 2016 – Priority Pass Lounge of the Year Awards – Highly Commended
- 2013/2011/2010 – Best airport in North America in the 0 to 2 million passenger category, Airport Service Quality (ASQ)
Advisor, communications and media relations
Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport
Phone: 418 640-2700, extension 2624