YLW sees record passenger numbers in 2018

January 11, 2019
News release

Kelowna Airport becomes 10th busiest airport in Canada

Today, Kelowna International Airport (YLW) released its final passenger numbers for 2018, with figures showing airport travel reaching an all-time high at YLW. In 2018, passengers totalled a record-breaking 2,080,372, a 31 per cent increase or more than 486,700 passengers over the last three years—becoming the 10th busiest airport in Canada.

“Surpassing 2 million passengers and reaching top 10 this past year are incredible accomplishments for YLW and the Okanagan,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director. “It’s an exciting time for YLW. We are in a period of tremendous growth and the increase in travellers translates directly to a boost in the economy and support for local businesses.”

Since 2015, YLW has experienced unprecedented passenger growth, which is driven partly by expanded air service and flight connectivity, population growth, and economic activity in the region.

To accommodate this exceptional growth, YLW is expanding the airport to better meet the needs of the growing region. Multi-year expansion plans include the largest terminal expansion to date, which includes: a larger departures lounge, expanded security screening, and more food and beverage services.

Between 2019 and 2020, YLW plans to invest over $240 million in new airport infrastructure and the rehabilitation of existing airport facilities. This investment has no impact on tax dollars as it is funded through airport revenues and improvement fees.

Quick Facts:

  • Every month in 2018 saw record-breaking numbers, ranging from three to 19 per cent.
  • December was YLW’s busiest month ever with 210,926 passengers passing through the doors, followed closely by August with 201,485 passengers.
  • In 2018, 486,766 more passengers passed through YLW’s doors compared to 2015.
  • The busiest routes at YLW are Vancouver and Calgary.

For more information about growth at YLW, visit ylw.kelowna.ca/facts