Montreal completed Mirabel at the height of a global oil crisis. It was decided all international (except US) traffic would use YMX
(Mirabel) and all domestic (including US) would stay at YUL
(Dorval). Air Traffic fell off due to the sudden drop in global air traffic. Connections were pretty much impossible except for 1 or 2 domestic flights to Toronto/Quebec City per day. Air Canada & CP
Air were stuck having to operate split airport operations. The road and rail infrastructure needed to link it with YUL
and downtown were never completed. Toronto became Canada's main hub. Federal regulators began opening up other Canadian cities and especially Toronto to foreign airlines. Montreal quickly fell into decline. Squabbles between Quebec & Ottawa made decisions to close Dorval or Mirabel very political and thus virtually impossible. Montrealers generally hated the distance to Mirabel but had a soft spot for it's modern facilities. Jump to the 1990s and an airport authority was created to run both facilities and hopefully make the politically charge decision to shut one of the airports. Alliance groups began forming as well as the Canada-US Open Skys Treaty so Air Canada & Bombardier started pressuring Federal authorities and the airport authority to refocus Montreal's air services at one Airport and their choice was Dorval. The decision was done but 20 years too late to have any major effect other than to start rebuilding Montreal's air traffic which was doing well up until 9/11. Traffic had been flat over the 20 years of YMX
and in 1997 total passenger volume for Montreal combined was less than what it was in 1977 (or 78?) when YMX
opened. Other competitor cities like Boston and Toronto saw their traffic levels skyrocket over the same period.
Long term: The ADM (Airport authority) says they will move back to Mirabel. Don't count on it they've already invested too much into Dorval for that ever to happen.
Cargo: It's basically going to become a cargo airport but I even give that little chance of succeeding. Cargo operations have never reached any significant level and with many combi aircraft a lot of freight still ends up at Dorval. It will likely all move back to YUL
in the end. YYZ
remains the center of Cargo operations in Eastern Canada.
Airlines who used YMX
: Pretty much the same international crowd who are using YUL
now except for new entrants (like Austrian & Egyptair) and many who left such as: Lan Chile (DC-10s & 767s to Lima), Varig (DC-10s to Rio & Sao Paulo), Aerolineas Argentinas (747s then A310s to Buenos Aires), SAS (DC-8s then DC-10s to Copenhagen), Finnair (DC-10s to Helsinki), Iberia (DC-8s then 747s & DC-10s to Madrid & Malaga), El Al (707s then 747s to Tel Aviv), Alitalia (DC-8s then 747s & DC-10s to Milan & Rome), Aeroflot (IL-62s to Moscow), Royal Jordanian (L-1011s & A310s to Amman), LOT (IL-62s and 767s to Warsaw), TAP Air Portugal (707s & 747s to Lisbon & Terciera), Aer Lingus (707s to Shannon & Dubin), Air India (747s to Delhi). There were other carriers as well (Bankrupt: Sabena, Swissair etc) along with many charter carriers (Nationair for instance) that came and went.
More or less a sad story and a perfect example to the world on how not to operate a city's airport system and a blueprint on how to misjudge the needs of a changing marketplace and do nothing about it.
PS: We have a National Baseball Team in Montreal??? (LOL)
[Edited 2003-08-07 20:39:38]