July was a fantastic month of firsts for YVR and our partners, bringing a host of exciting new air and retail services for our passengers and communities.
In the midst of our 100 busiest days ever, we hosted the grand opening of the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport on July 9. The highly anticipated event caught the attention of media outlets across the province, as throngs of eager shoppers made their way through a range of stores carrying some of the world’s most iconic brands—with savings up to 70% off.
This amazing shopping destination is BC’s first luxury designer outlet centre and the first McArthurGlen designer outlet outside of Europe. It also holds the record for a McArthurGlen opening: 160,000 shoppers made their way to the outlet centre on its first weekend—making it the most successful McArthurGlen opening in the world.
To accommodate the expected increase in traffic for the centre’s opening month, YVR, McArthurGlen and our partners implemented our traffic management plan and encouraged those coming to the mall to use the Canada Line. We greatly appreciated the patience of Sea Island employees, YVR passengers and shoppers as we dealt with high traffic volumes during this busy and exciting time.
In addition to providing an exciting shopping destination, the outlet centre also generates non-aeronautical revenue for YVR. This means that all profits we receive from the success of the outlet centre go right back into the airport, which helps keep costs low for airlines. This in turn helps airlines focus on what they do best—continue to provide excellent services and launch exciting new ones.
For instance, on July 8 Air Canada announced thee-times weekly service from Vancouver to Brisbane, Australia, starting in June 2016. This makes YVR the first Canadian airport with direct service to Brisbane, a gateway to Australia’s renowned Great Barrier Reef and a hub for Asia-Pacific connections. As Air Canada noted in their news release, this new service was made possible due to the operating economics of the Dreamliner and YVR’s low fees.
Another win for innovation! We’re constantly thinking of innovative ways to reduce fees for our airline partners, whether through the new outlet centre, the sale of our APC kiosks, retail sales from the shops and services in our new A-B Connector and more.
In addition, WestJet recently announced direct service from YVR to Orlando, connecting Vancouver to another sun-drenched location for the first time. Starting on January 1, 2016, the weekly service will help Vancouverites stay warm during the winter, while throwing in the bonus of a Disney World visit.And speaking of firsts, we also celebrated YVR’s 84th birthday on July 22. If you google YVR’s history, you’ll see that we’ve come a long way since our first day back in 1931. From the construction of the airport itself to the addition of runways, terminals, air services and now the outlet centre, we have constantly refreshed the airport with new ideas. This innovation is what sustainable growth is all about. It keeps us competitive and makes me feel young. After all, although we’re 84 YVR never seems to get old.