Despite the health restrictions in place at the time and a financial report in red ink, Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) awarded 3.8 million in bonuses to its employees and managers in 2021. Other turbulence awaits travelers because that the finances of the organization prevent it from carrying out work deemed essential.

The nine main leaders of the non-profit organization, including President and CEO Philippe Rainville, shared 1.2 million and the rest of the sum (2.6 million) was distributed among 131 non-unionized employees. This information appears in ADM’s most recent annual report, unveiled Thursday at its annual public meeting.

Asked about the perception of “performance bonuses”, Mr. Rainville replied that the objectives to be achieved were set by the board of directors.

“It’s up to the board, based on the objectives that were set for us, it’s them (the directors), who determined what we deserved or not, he explained, in a scrum. There are a multitude of facets. On all of these criteria, they are the ones who decided. »

ADM does not specify the amount granted to each of the managers who are eligible for the bonuses. The manager of the operator and manager of the Montreal-Trudeau and Mirabel airports did not want to reveal the amount to which he was entitled. It’s on top of his 2022 salary of $536,000, which was up 16%.

In its annual report, the organization identifies a series of categories, such as “customer experience” and “climate change adaptation and resilience”, in terms of goals to be achieved. Professor in the management department of Laval University, Yan Cimon believes that we could have offered a little more detail.

“There seems to be a well-defined process for managing these bounties,” he said. That being said, it would be interesting to have more granular information on what constitutes, for example, the customer experience as well as on the elements that improve it. We do not know the nature of the indicators. »

In an email, the operator and manager of Montréal-Trudeau and Mirabel explains that these bonuses have made it possible “to attract and retain talent in a context of labor shortages (and) particularly in an industry that has lost a lot of its vital forces due to the pandemic”.

ADM had lost 230 million in 2021 while travel restrictions were still in effect due to the health crisis. Revenue had been 278 million – up from 652 million last year. Montréal-Trudeau had welcomed 5 million passengers – three times less than in 2022.

After a summer marked by flight cancellations, delays and lost luggage, Mr. Rainville is more optimistic for the summer. Airlines have hired staff, he explained, adding that this was also the case with agencies like the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) – which provides security at airports. .

“Everyone added resources,” says Rainville. Straps have been added in the luggage rooms. In general, after the summer we experienced last year, the system should operate normally. »

However, there are darker clouds looming on the horizon. Projects, such as the repair of the “city side” landing stage, have been put on hold due to the pandemic, which has weakened ADM’s finances. Sooner or later, these projects will have to get under way, since we expect to see 28 million passengers using Montréal-Trudeau in 2028.

Travelers are therefore likely to feel cramped in a few years when “very critical” projects, such as the facelift that must be offered to the landing stages, are deployed, warns Mr. Rainville.

“I would tell you the years 2025, 2026 and 2027,” he said. The Metropolitan Express Network will not quite be there yet. This transition will have to be made. It will be more difficult years. »

The president of ADM would have taken advantage of the pandemic interruption to carry out this work, the financial health of the organization was not strong enough. Mr. Rainville has returned to the charge to demand changes to the current model of Canadian airports. The latter hopes that Ottawa will eventually listen to reason.

It was also the last annual meeting in which Mr. Rainville will participate. After six years at the head of the organization, the main interested party will bow out in the fall. The person who will succeed him has been found, but his identity will be revealed later.