It was a strong year for rebuilding air cargo activity at Halifax Stanfield. In 2022, cargo volume and value surpassed 2018 levels, making it the second-best year on record for cargo activity at the airport.
“While our passenger activity has been slower to recover, cargo is showing strong signs of improvement, with 2022 representing one of the best years for cargo activity in the airport’s history,” said Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority. “This demonstrates that our focus on growing Halifax Stanfield’s air cargo capabilities has resulted in benefits to the airport, the community we serve, and the industry.”
Halifax Stanfield processed 36,979 metric tonnes of cargo, up 6.4 per cent from 2021 and 12.1 per cent from 2020. The value of products exported from the airport in 2022 was $540 million CAD, up 8.9 per cent from 2021 and 15.8 per cent from 2020.
In 2022, 16 air carriers transported goods by air to domestic, U.S., European, and Asian markets. The top export by volume and value was Nova Scotia seafood, primarily live lobster. The airport processed 16,422 metric tonnes of seafood exports at a $321 million CAD value. Other top exports were industrial and electrical machinery. According to HIAA’s 2021 Economic Impact Report, export activity at Halifax Stanfield had a total economic output of $735.7 million, while total employment (full-time equivalents) was 4,254.
Other highlights from 2022 include Air Canada Cargo launching a new dedicated freighter service to Europe in June and Halifax Stanfield’s new Air Cargo Logistics Park (ACLP) building – occupied by Cargojet and First Catch Fisheries – becoming fully operational in August.
With eight cargo aircraft parking positions now available and more than double the amount of cold storage space, the ACLP has expanded Halifax Stanfield cargo processing capabilities offered by Gateway Facilities and Swissport. This enables exports to reach their destination quickly and supports the growth of industry partners.
Although ongoing global challenges with aircraft and pilot availability are affecting cargo and passenger air carriers alike, HIAA is optimistic that Halifax Stanfield is well-positioned for growth opportunities as the sector rebounds.
Already in 2023, Air Canada Cargo has added service to two new European destinations (Liege and Basel) to complement its existing routes. Additionally, WestJet Cargo announced plans to launch a dedicated cargo service that will connect Halifax to key North American cities, connecting through WestJet’s network and its partner networks to markets around the globe.
“With increased interest in the Halifax market and capacity for future growth, we know the best is yet to come for air cargo at Halifax Stanfield,” said Carter. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with our partners to strengthen the supply chain and support the essential movement of goods to and from our communities.”