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Above and beyond: thank you to our Vancouver Airport Authority team members

Over the summer months, we welcomed record numbers of travellers since the start of the global pandemic. To put this in perspective, in January we were welcoming an average of 25,000 passengers daily. By August, passengers had increased 168 per cent for a total daily average of 67,000.

Never before in aviation history have we seen this level of increase in such a short period of time, nor the impacts that the increase spurred.

We know the travel experience this summer was challenging for everyone. We recognize the inconvenience of delays and cancellations. We are very aware that travelling through any airport in Canada – and worldwide – was difficult.

Our team at Vancouver Airport Authority remained steadfast in their commitment to support travellers in their journey through the airport.

At YVR, our Vancouver Airport Authority team was on the front lines for our passengers and visitors—answering questions, managing queues, supporting our carriers and service providers with baggage throughput and delivery, and passing out water and granola bars to help improve the experience as much as possible and even in small ways.

Leveraging our long history of innovation, our teams also accelerated digital applications to improve the passenger experience. This included developing and introducing a digital twin of YVR, which enables us to monitor operations and deploy resources as needed quickly and efficiently. We also developed new technology with Canada Border Services (CBSA) to process passengers faster through the border clearance process.

For that, we want to thank our team for everything they did all summer to get our passengers on their way safely and as quickly as possible.

This includes not just our Guest Experience staff, but people from across our organization who went above and beyond to support colleagues in our bag halls and arrivals areas, at the check-in counters and in the security screening lines. People from engineering, operations, maintenance, human resources, finance, and more came together to do everything we could to create a positive experience for travellers and visitors.

It’s now our turn to show up and show gratitude to them in a way that makes tangible sense.

“I am thrilled to see people travelling again and I want to thank passengers for their patience as we manage record increases daily. This is all made possible by our dedicated team at Vancouver Airport Authority. And I particularly want to thank them for showing a level of commitment and passion that I have never seen before,” said Tamara Vrooman, President & CEO at Vancouver Airport Authority.

On September 15, we announced a recognition bonus to be paid to all employees of Vancouver Airport Authority, including our temporary, casual and student hires, as an expression of appreciation for the work they do. The bonus is based on salary, with those in lower income brackets earning a larger bonus than those at a higher bracket. Executives are exempt.

Recognizing the staffing challenges across the aviation ecosystem, YVR became a certified Living Wage Employer, the first airport in Canada to achieve this designation. As a Living Wage Employer, the Airport Authority pays all 600 of its direct employees at or higher than the designated living wage for Metro Vancouver, which is $20.52 per hour including benefits. Furthermore, we are working with the direct service providers at the airport, such as janitorial, building maintenance, landscaping, and traffic management contractors, to ensure they too will be paid a living wage by their employer in the future. We estimate this represents a further 1,600 employees across YVR.

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