Hamilton International Airport starts 2012 on a ‘hi’ note
Thursday 16, February 2012
Toronto’s Hamilton International Airport has started 2012 on the right footing, with 2011 having accomplished an increase passengers travelling during the summer and winter months.
Passenger numbers grew by 4% in the winter as locals sought winter sunshine, and by as much as 5% on some of the summer as families took annual holidays. Hamilton also witnessed the introduction of successful new routes, additional airline partners commencing new operations at the airport and positive cargo figures.
New Routes & Additional Services
Transat Tours launched flights from the airport for the first time and is offering availability on flights to Cancun operating through to 15 April and Punta Cana until 21 April. This has more than doubled the route’s capacity for the winter season and increases accessibility to these destinations for the region. Transat Tours and Hola Sun are also marketing flights to the popular Cuban destinations of Holguin and Varadero, Cuba, which commenced in December and will operate through to 29 April. All of these flights are operated by Canjet on behalf of the tour operators.
In February WestJet launched an additional non-stop service between Hamilton and Orlando, complementing its existing weekly service on the route. In May WestJet confirmed its continued dedication to flying from the airport with the return of direct daily domestic flights linking Hamilton with Moncton, Halifax, Winnipeg and Edmonton, with Calgary available up to three times daily. The carrier introduced new non-stop flights to Las Vegas in September bringing one of the most requested US destinations to the region, and a route that far exceeded expectations in terms of passenger demand. November saw the return of WestJet’s direct winter-sun flights from Hamilton to Orlando, Punta Cana and Cancun, which will continue through until the end of April 2012.
Hamilton International Airport’s 24/7 opening hours, excellent access to the national road networks and cost effective pricing structure make the airport particularly appealing to cargo carriers and operators. These significant benefits resulted in another steady year for cargo traffic at the airport compared with the international downward trend for 2011. Hamilton International is the largest (by volume) multimodal cargo facility in Canada with small packages forming the bulk of the cargo business. “We’ve also seen a direct correlation between the boom in Internet shopping and the recent expansion of the small package distribution business,” said Karen Medweth, Director of Air Service Development and Marketing.
Future plans anticipate the construction of a 60,000 sq ft multi-tenant cross-dock cargo facility that will increase capacity, operate independently from the main cargo tenants at the airport and provide exceptional benefits for international freight forwarders and cargo carriers. “This will take our cargo offering to the next level,” commented Medweth.
Purolator, Canada’s leading integrated freight and parcel solutions provider, invested more than CAD$6 million into its cargo centre at Hamilton International Airport during 2011 as it prepares for major business. The significant investment has funded a major expansion of the aircraft parking area at the airport enabling the use of larger, more efficient aircraft, increasing the volume of cargo the facility can handle.
Purolator is one of Hamilton International Airport’s key tenants operating up to 22 daily flights through the aviation hub. “Hamilton is Purolator’s airport of choice,” said Karen Medweth. “The investment in new facilities underlines Purolator’s commitment to the airport and we are delighted to work with them as they expand their service offering and increase operational efficiency.”
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, Hamilton International Airport personnel were extremely proud to be presented with a commemorative plaque by Kevin Johnson, The Consul General of the US to honour the Canadian airport for its support during the events of 09/11. The bronze plaque is now proudly displayed in the main terminal building.
The airport played a crucial part in supporting not only the aviation industry but also the wider community during 09/11. A number of flights were diverted into the airport, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at the airport and in the city. One of the diverted flights had been en route to bring US Military back to America and another flight from Germany was destined for Montreal but was forced to land at Hamilton. Airport personnel worked around the clock, hand-in-hand with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Hamilton Police and Hamilton Fire Services, answering calls from concerned relatives, arranging accommodation for stranded passengers and managing the crisis situation.
Hamilton Air Show
For the first time in a decade, the skies over Hamilton were full of vintage military aircraft for the weekend of June 18 and 19 as the Air Show returned with a strong line-up incorporating more than a dozen aircraft from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum including the famed Lancaster – one of just two of the huge Second World War bombers that can still fly – and close to 20 aircraft brought in from as far away as Texas and Virginia Beach.
The event also featured flight simulators, restoration projects, aviation displays and more than a dozen static aircraft. Show organisers had originally predicted 10,000 attendees, but public reaction was overwhelming with more than 25,000 attendees turning out to enjoy the occasion.
The event, organised by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, takes place at Hamilton Airport and will celebrate the museum’s 40th anniversary on June 16 to 17, 2012.
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