Why it’s going to cost even more to fly out of B.C. from YVR soon

Business In Vancouver

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Delta and Air Canada airplanes getting ready for boarding at Vancouver International Airport/Shutterstock

Your plane ticket is going to get just a little more expensive if you are flying outside of the province from YVR Airport.

Vancouver International Airport will raise its Airport Improvement Fee (AIF) from $20 to $25 starting next January.

The increase to the fee was announced Thursday by Craig Richmond, president and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority, during a speech to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.

The fee will apply to passengers travelling to destinations outside of B.C. starting January 1, 2020.

Within B.C. and the Yukon, the fee will remain at $5.

The Vancouver airport’s AIF was introduced in 1993. Reminded that the AIF was initially described as temporary, Richmond told the audience, “I don’t know why that was ever said. It’s not going to go away because it’s such a vital part of how we raise money.”

AIFs are among the fees that get folded into airfares and combine to help make Canadian airfares substantially more than counterparts in the U.S., Flair Air’s executive chairman David Tait told Business in Vancouver back in July, when he was calling for a national cap on the fee – which is what is in place in the States.

However, in response, Vancouver Airport Authority corporate communications manager Brock Penner told BIV that Canadian airports operate differently than airports in the U.S.

“Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization and we receive no money from the government to operate the airport,” he told BIV. “The AIF is an important part of the Canadian airport business model. It is collected to support capital infrastructure projects like runways and terminals to ensure we have a safe and efficient airport.”

According to the airport authority, the AIF represents 31% of the airport’s revenue.

With additional reporting from V.I.A.