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Canadian airports lose traffic to US airports across the US border


The exodus of Canadian citizens along the US border to US airports, which has previously been highlighted, continues. It is estimated that up to five million passengers now cross the border each year in search of cheaper flights on the US budget carriers that have increasingly gravitated towards secondary airports, as Canada's relatively limited air services and restrictive international aviation policy limits foreign airline access. 

So airports such as Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Plattsburgh in New York State, Burlington in Vermont, Bellingham Airport in Washington State and Fargo’s quaintly named Hector Airport in North Dakota are the biggest beneficiaries.

Government taxes and fees have often carried the blame for the non-competitive nature of Canadian airports and for this 'bleed' of passengers. But not everyone agrees. [2389 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Subsidised US airport system unsustainable?
  • Red tape hinders international air travellers
  • Cross-border co-operation with US airport competitors? Toronto for; Montreal against
  • Montreal’s 'parasitic' US airport competitor
  • Allegiant and Spirit target US airports near Canadian border

Graphs and data:

  • Price/Cost breakdown – flights from Toronto and Buffalo to Orlando, Florida (all amounts CAD)
  • GTAA financial highlights for three months ended 31-Sep-2012 (all financial figures in CAD million)
  • Toronto Pearson International monthly passenger traffic: Jan-2010 to Oct-2012
  • Montreal Trudeau International Airport monthly passenger traffic: Jan-2010 to Oct-2012
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