Buffalo Niagara: access and affordability of air travel

There are several reasons why Buffalo Niagara is in the midst of an economic resurgence. A foundational pillar to our long-term economic prosperity lies across the river — Canada.

In 2011, Visit Buffalo Niagara researched the impact of Canadian shoppers on the WNY economy and found nearly 1 billion dollars in spending in shopping and related expenditures! That’s the equivalent a new Buffalo Billion every year.

The region weathered the economic recession largely on the infusion of spending and its indirect employment benefit from our neighbors to the north.

If you shop, it’s easy to see the spending flowing into our economy. However, there are many other economic benefits that are less visible – like the access and affordability of air travel we enjoy here.

Canadian patronage of our airports (2 million of the 5 million passengers/40 percent of airport travelers) provides better, and more economical, air service than most cities our size in the country.

airport blog2In the five-year period following the economic downturn in 2008, hardest hit were the nation’s 35 midsize airports, where carriers cut 26 percent of their scheduled flights.

The Buffalo airport, which is one of the midsize airports, lost only 6 percent over that period, and Niagara Falls went from an airport without any significant air service to handling over 650 flights in 2013.

Last month’s exciting news that Sunwing Airlines will start the region’s first scheduled international flights in over a decade bodes well for the future.

…not to mention making it easier to get a tan in January by being able to fly directly to Cancun and Punta Cana from Buffalo.

(Full disclosure –my husband Pascal Cohen is the senior manager of aviation marketing for the airports.)

Just last week, Buffalo Niagara Partnership staffers joined the NFTA’s media event in Toronto.

airport blog 3
L>R: Pascal Cohen (Pascal Cohen, A.A.E. Senior Manager of Marketing & Aviation Business Development Buffalo Niagara Int’l Airport (BUF) & Niagara Falls Int’l Airport (IAG),) Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, Bryan Roth, Laura Smith and Dan Leonard

Within hours, stories and blogs reported on the benefits that Canadians realize when flying from our region’s airports.

My favorite was a CTV television story which included Canadian testimonials taken at the Buffalo Airport.

The stories validated that Canadians save time and money by flying from Buffalo.

After you read this Toronto Star story, it will be no mystery to you as to why so many new hotels have popped up across the street from the Airport.

The NFTA, to their credit, is investing wisely in getting this message out with a television campaign starting next month in Toronto.

More Canadians traveling to and from Buffalo Niagara means greater economic benefit to our region.

Dottie Gallagher Headshot

About Dottie Gallagher

President & CEO