pearson airport

Only one airport on earth had more delays than Toronto Pearson this weekend

The complete and utter misery at Toronto's Pearson International Airport reached a peak this long holiday weekend for many travellers, who reported huge crowds, long lineups and serious baggage claim woes.

But the worst things endured by more than half of departing passengers at Pearson yesterday were mass flight delays.

More than 53 per cent of flights scheduled to take off from Pearson on Sunday were delayed, according to the plane tracking data company Flight Aware.

This was the highest percentage of delayed flights reported out of every major city on earth — save for one: China's notoriously busy Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.

A staggering 63 per cent of all flights departing Guangzhou Baiyun were cancelled on Sunday, leaving the passengers on 412 different flights stranded at the airport for longer than intended. Twenty-nine flights (4 per cent) were cancelled outright.

Pearson actually say more flights cancelled, proportionately speaking, than the Chinese airport did with a 7 per cent cancellation rate (43 flights in total.)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Guangzhou Baiyun and Toronto Pearson took the top two spots again for arrival delays. Passengers on 46 per cent of flights arriving at Pearson experienced delays on Sunday, as did 63 per cent at Guangzhou.

In terms of specific Canadian airlines posting delays, Swoop saw a 38 per cent delay rate and a 17 per cent cancellation rate.

Air Canada had the highest rate of delays on earth yesterday (67 per cent) with 359 planes staying at Pearson longer than they should have on Sunday.

Airports all over the world continue to struggle with hectic, unorganized masses of travellers and baggage cramming terminals now that most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted here and abroad.

Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra announced some $105 million in funding last week to help airports, including Pearson step up air control and security screening measures in hopes of moving people along more quickly.

"What we are seeing today is that while many of those Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and Canadian Border Security Agency issues have significantly improved we continue to see delays, cancellations and luggage issues," he said at the time, calling out Pearson's current operations as "unacceptable."

Lead photo by

Clement Lo


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