The Winnipeg Airports Authority has named Nick Hays as the organization’s new president and CEO.
Hays will oversee operations of Winnipeg’s James Richardson International Airport and joins WAA from his most recent role at Vanderlande Industries, where he was vice-president, Canada.
“There is no doubt our industry is facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, but I am excited for the opportunities ahead and know WAA has the right vision and values to move the organization forward in support of our community, customers and stakeholders,” Hays said in a statement.
“I have been privileged to turn my lifelong passion for aviation into a career, and I cannot think of a better way to fuel that passion than as president and CEO of WAA.”
Hays takes over from long-time president and CEO Barry Rempel, who is retiring after nearly 20 years at WAA.
Rempel will continue in his role until February 21, to facilitate the transition.
In its latest quarterly results report, WAA saw 518,726 passengers travel through the airport in the last three months of 2021 — an increase of almost 300 percent compared to the same period in 2020, but still only 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
WAA closed 2021 by welcoming a total of 1,223,054 passengers, slightly below the 1.3 million passengers in 2020 and well below the 4.5 million passengers the airport saw in 2019. However, an encouraging sign was seeing 42 percent of its total annual traffic pass through the terminal in the final quarter of the year.