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Hamilton’s airport confirms surge in cargo as leisure travel plummets

The construction of several new facilities, including DHL's new express gateway and the Amazon fulfillment centre, will further enhance the cargo capabilities of Hamilton's airport in 2021. Nick Westoll / Global News

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Hamilton International Airport has been quantified.

On the passenger side, and with travel restrictions in place for much of the year, Hamilton International says there was a 66 per cent decrease in travellers in 2020.

The airport closed out the year with 329,193 total passengers through its gates.

Read more: Swoop airline ends some flights from Hamilton airport

It’s a much different story on the cargo side, thanks to a surge in online shopping during the pandemic.

The airport says 658 million kilograms in total goods moved through Hamilton International last year, an increase of 24 per cent.

That included the country’s first shipment of Pfizer vaccines in the fight against COVID-19, which touched down in Hamilton on Dec. 13.

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Read more: DHL to invest $100M in Hamilton airport facility expansion

In 2021, the completion of two major construction projects is expected to further enhance the airport’s cargo business, the DHL Express gateway facility expansion and the Amazon fulfillment centre.

Official openings of both facilities are expected later this year.

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