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Thunder Bay Airport reaches new passenger record

Volumes from Northern communities a contributing factor
Thunder Bay International Airport
The Thunder Bay Airport is marking a new record for passenger traffic. (TBNewsWatch photo)

Passenger traffic flowing through the Thunder Bay Airport reached a new record in 2018.

As of Aug. 31, the airport recorded a new high of 588,076 passengers, representing a 4.6 per cent increase from last year.

In a Sept. 19 news release, the airport cited strong volumes from Northern communities as contributing to the increase. Additional factors include high volume from Bearskin Airlines, North Star Air and Wasaya Airways, a seventh weekday frequency from Porter Airlines, and added capacity into Winnipeg from WestJet Encore.

With Thunder Bay set to host the annual general meeting of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Sunwing Airlines starting to offer direct flights to Cuba starting in November, the airport said it expected traffic to remain strong until year’s end.

The airport is nearing the end of extensive renovations at the terminal. Upgrades to the facility will include expanding the second-floor departures lounge to 9,500 square feet from 6,100 square feet, more than doubling the size of the customs clearance hall, and expanding the arrivals area.

There will also be additional food service offerings and enhanced interior décor.