PRESS RELEASE: Calgary International Airport Named Routes Awards Overall Winner

Calgary International Airport has been crowned the Overall Winner of this year’s Routes Americas Awards, as well as taking home the 5- 20 million passenger award.

YYC welcomed a record 18.5 million passengers in 2023, added one new airline partner and saw the introduction of 24 new routes, including 10 previously unserved destinations. Strong demand also led to increased capacity on existing routes and the transition from seasonal to year-round availability for several routes.

Cindy Brown, Air Service Development Director at Calgary International Airport, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as the winners of this prestigious award. This accomplishment is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our teams at The Calgary Airport Authority to provide unparalleled support to our airline partners, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with them on new and exciting initiatives.”

In the under 5 million passenger category, Syracuse Hancock International Airport was named the winner. The airport enjoyed a record year in 2023, handling 2.8 million passengers, marking a 12% increase over 2022. It expanded its portfolio by adding two new routes, increasing service on existing routes and securing the reintroduction of flights to Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Jason Terreri, Executive Director at SYR said: “It is an incredible honor to receive this award for our Air Service Development marketing activities at Syracuse Hancock International Airport. We strive to exceed our stakeholders’ expectations as a best-in-class airport, and we thank the Routes America Team for recognizing our efforts to best serve the air service needs of our region.”

Orlando International Airport, winner of the over 20 million passenger category, triumphed following a year when traffic rose to 58 million passengers and capacity surged by 15% to almost 69 million available seats. Notable successes included the launch of Avianca’s Orlando-Quito service, helping the airport to grow its route map to 50 international destinations.

Juliana Pena, Assistant Vice President, Air Service at Orlando International Airport said: "This prestigious recognition by Routes Americas, a global organization that sets the benchmarks for air service development, is a strong testament to our work here at Orlando International Airport," said Kevin J. Thibault, CEO of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which operates Orlando International Airport. "We are inspired by this award and will continue to push boundaries through innovative technology, partnerships, and services to enhance our operations and the customer journey."

Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. was named the winner of the destination category. Although Barbados was one of the last Caribbean islands to remove COVID restrictions, a focus on rebuilding and increasing air service has seen the largest increase in frequencies, capacity and gateways from the Americas region in the country’s history.

Eusi Skeete, Director at Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. said: “We are honoured to have won such a prestigious award. Our participation in Routes has been integral to our ability to cultivate important relationships with airlines and key Partners and provided a forum to position the destination as s viable option to key decision makers. As a destination, we remain  committed to building strong partnerships and sustainable relationships with our airline partners and more importantly leverage our networks and relationships with other key partners across various sectors to stimulate demand, heighten the awareness of the destination through strategic partnerships and collaborations to ultimately make the destination more accessible for travellers, the ease of servicing the destination more seamless for our airline partners and ultimately building a framework that sets us up for long term success and profitability.”

Air Canada secured the airline award. Alongside the Star Alliance member’s fleet expansion investment, the airline’s network development strategy revolves around a comprehensive and adaptive approach to market demands. In 2023, new U.S. routes included flights from Vancouver to Houston and Washington, while international services were added from Montreal to destinations including Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Toulouse.

Mazin Elbushra, Director, Network Planning – North America at Air Canada said: "We are thrilled and honoured to receive the prestigious Routes Award in recognition of Air Canada's work in sustainable network growth, innovative collaboration with airports and tourism boards, and our unwavering commitment to a strategic vision that propels us into the future. Air Canada’s business is connecting people and places. We continue to implement our strategy in building scale at our hubs, integrating our deep network across North America with our expanding and robust international network. Thank you to Routes for this recognition, and to our customers, valued partners, and dedicated employees who continue to inspire us to reach even greater heights together."

The full list of winners:

Overall Winner
Calgary International Airport

Under 5 Million Passengers
Syracuse Hancock International Airport

5-20 Million Passengers
Calgary International Airport

Over 20 Million Passengers
Orlando International Airport

Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Air Canada