While the past two years have created significant uncertainty for the aviation sector, air cargo activity increased at Halifax Stanfield in 2021 in comparison to 2020, and recovery is expected to continue as exports remain strong, new carriers enter the market, and the new Halifax Stanfield Air Cargo Logistics Park (ACLP) begins operation.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly underscored the importance of air cargo to global supply chains,” said Joyce Carter, president and CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA). “Air cargo has supported our collective fight against COVID-19 through deliveries of PPE and vaccines, maintained local jobs through exports of Nova Scotia products, and aided our communities through efficient transport of e-commerce orders. In every instance, air cargo has played a critical role in moving important goods to and from our region.”
In 2021, Halifax Stanfield processed 34,769 tonnes of cargo, up 5.4% from 2020. The value of exports in 2021 was $496 million CAD, up 6.3% from the previous year.
Air cargo was transported by 12 carriers and Nova Scotia seafood, specifically live lobster, continued to be the top export. In 2021, 12,757 tonnes of live lobster, at a value of C$293 million, were shipped from Halifax Stanfield to Asian and European markets. Other top exports were medical equipment (C$53.2 million) and aerospace-related parts (C$41.4 million).
As HIAA looks toward its pandemic recovery, air cargo remains a bright light for future growth and opportunities. Carriers are expanding their cargo operations at Halifax Stanfield, including Air Canada Cargo, who are making Halifax part of their regularly scheduled freighter operations.