Top Ten Photos of 2021

What a year for YVR – from celebrating our 90th birthday to pivoting through travel restrictions and COVID-19 changes to sharing our roadmap to become net zero airport by 2030. It was anything but a typical year for us, but it was for sure one to remember. Let’s take a look back at this year through the lens of our top ten photos of 2021 and celebrate our accomplishments and embrace the challenges we have gone through as a community.

1. Richmond Vaccination Centre

Richmond Vaccine Centre staff.

Earlier this year, we partnered with Vancouver Coastal Health to operate the Richmond Vaccination Centre. The COVID-19 vaccination roll-out is and has been one of the most important priorities for our community and country. We were also able to recall our own employees, Musqueam, airline and other airport partner employees to provide impactful employment to support B.C.’s immunization efforts. Together, we vaccinated over 150,000 British Columbians at our vaccination centre! Thank you to the staff and our partners for making a positive impact and helping support a faster recovery for our community and travel industry.

2. YVR’s 90th Birthday

Pilots holding a 90th anniversary cookie inside the airport.

90 never looked so good! YVR opened its doors in 1931 and this year marked our 90th anniversary. We were proud to celebrate this milestone with our local community this July. We’re truly thankful for all the support that we’ve received over the past 90 years and we’re looking forward to many more milestones to come!

3. Truth and Reconciliation

YVR President and CEO, Tamara Vrooman standing with Musqueam Chief Sparrow (Traditional name: yəχʷyaχʷələq) and John Stogan (Traditional name: yəcecə).

This past September marked Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and we were honoured to be joined by Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow and the members of the community on the traditional, unceded territory of the Musqueam people for a gathering outside our international terminal. Together, we acknowledge, learn and reflect on truth and reconciliation and held a moment of silence to commemorate the survivors of Residential Schools, the children who didn’t come home, their families and communities.

4. Roadmap to Net Zero Carbon 2030

Roadmap to Net Zero wrap on building under construction.

In case you missed it, we shared our Roadmap to Net Zero in early October. We are actively pursuing a greener, more resilient future and we are committed to having our operations become net zero by 2030, accelerating our original carbon commitment by 20 years from 2050. Interested in learning more? Find our roadmap and decarbonization pathways here!

5. lululemon Grand Opening

The lululemon store at YVR.

Just two months ago, in October, lululemon opened their first North American airport store at YVR. It was very exciting for us as two of the most recognizable brands in B.C. collaborate to elevate our commercial offerings to passengers travelling through YVR. If you’re travelling through YVR for a domestic flight, make sure to drop by lululemon near the C-pier!

6. Annual Holiday Hamper Drive

Photo of Vancouver Airport Authority employee volunteers and Quest staff on the day of the Holiday Hamper Drive.

Since 2011, the YVR community has come together to provide more than 8,000 holiday meals for local families. Earlier this month, we held our 11th annual Holiday Hamper Drive in partnership with Quest Food Exchange. Quest works to reduce hunger in local communities by providing dignified access to affordable and sustainable food options. We’re grateful to everyone that came by to drop off their hampers curbside and to the employee volunteers who helped out. We look forward to being back at the Jade Canoe for hamper collection and festivities in the future. Together, we were able to donate 500 full holiday meals to families in need this year and we couldn’t have done it without you!

7. YVR Signed a MOU with ITBC

YVR President and CEO Tamara Vrooman with Brenda Baptiste from Indigenous Tourism BC and Musqueam Councillor Brett Sparrow at the MOU signing ceremony.

Recently, YVR and Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) signed a historic memorandum of understanding (MOU), creating a partnership that will see us share knowledge, resources and data to grow and advance Indigenous tourism in British Columbia. Together, we can advance and promote Indigenous tourism across our province. If you’re at the airport, make sure to drop by the interactive ITBC kiosk near U.S. Departures on Level 3 to experience Indigenous tourism for yourself.

8. New Liveries at YVR

Turkish Airlines and Singapore Airlines at YVR.

Over the past year, we’ve welcomed a few new airlines into our terminal—Turkish Airlines and Singapore Airlines into our international terminal. The much-anticipated Turkish Airlines offers a three-times weekly direct route to Istanbul from Vancouver—the very first direct route from Western Canada to Turkey. Singapore Airlines has made a return with a four-time weekly direct service to Singapore, after 12 years since they last served Vancouver. This also marks the very first direct flight from Canada to Singapore! Looking ahead, we can’t wait to welcome JetBlue Airways and Sun Country Airlines in the summer of 2022. We are thrilled to provide our travellers with more travel options with these new airline partners here at YVR.

9. Our Airline Partners Expanding and Resuming Their Routes

A group of 6 images. From left to right starting on the first row: a WestJet tail, Flair Airlines crew, a Qantas tail (photo credit to Kent Matthiesen). From left to right in the second row: Cathay Pacific team airside with banner celebrating service return between Vancouver and Hong Kong, a Lufthansa tail and Air Canada pilots posing with beach balls in the air.

As we continue to welcome back passengers to the airport, we’re excited to provide more destination options to passengers who are flying out of YVR. Over the past 12 months, we have seen our airline partners expand their network to serve more destinations. Most notably, we had Air Canada starting a new route to Orange County, and Flair Airlines starting a new route to Hollywood Burbank. Moreover, we also saw airline partners such as WestJet resuming service to numerous destinations, Lufthansa for resuming service to Munich, Cathay Pacific for resuming service to Hong Kong, as well as Qantas resuming service to Sydney. We can’t wait welcome more new routes in 2022!

10. COVID-19 Testing at YVR

Arrival COVID-19 testing centre on Level 2 in the international arrivals hall.

With all the unprecedented changes to travel, we are proud to have followed and pivoted to all guidelines from the Government of Canada. An example is promptly setting up the arrivals COVID-19 test centre in our international arrivals area in Level 2. With this centre, we’re able to provide quick and easy COVID-19 tests for up to 100% of our travellers who are arriving from an international destination.

BONUS: Ready, Set, Fly.

Person in Hawaiian print collared shirt and shorts running on treadmill pulling suitcase.

When you are ready to return to travel, we are ready to welcome you back to YVR! With the world slowly re-opening for travel and tourism, we understand the experience may look different and we want to help you feel as much prepared as possible. When you’re ready to return to travel, we invite you visit this page for all the information you need for a fun and safe adventure. Safe travels!