Delayed flights a problem at Air Canada, which operates largely out of Pearson Airport in Mississauga


Published September 12, 2023 at 11:14 am

The struggle to consistently get travellers to their destination on time continues for Air Canada, which operates most of its flights out of Pearson Airport in Mississauga.

The latest On-time Performance Monthly Report from aviation data firm Cirium, released on Tuesday, shows Canada’s flagship carrier ranked last for a third-straight month in terms of performance among North America’s 10 largest airlines.

The report shows four in every 10 flights run by Air Canada in August were late arriving at their destination (see chart below).

According to Cirium, 60.12 per cent of Air Canada’s 35,500 August flights landed at their destination on time, meaning within 15 minutes of the scheduled hour.

In July, that number was 51.25 per cent (36,017 flights) and in June it was 52.53 per cent (33,544 flights).

In May, though, Air Canada performed much better, ranking eighth on the list by landing more than 70 per cent of its 32,037 flights on time.

By comparison in August, Delta Air Lines in the U.S. topped the most-recent list by landing 82.8 per cent of its 146,085 flights on time.

United Airlines (81.61 per cent of its 135,478 flights) and Alaska Airlines (81.52 per cent of its 37,421 flights) placed second and third, respectively, in getting flights to destinations on time in August.

The other Canadian carrier on the list, Calgary-based WestJet, which also operates numerous flights out of Pearson Airport, ranked eighth on the August list (seventh in July).

It landed 62.27 per cent of its 17,106 flights on time, the data shows. In July, those numbers were 61.88 per cent of 17,405 flights.

Each month, Cirium ranks the 10 largest airlines in a given region around the world based on their on-time performance rate.

Its numbers from August show that of the 751,726 flights across North America, 71.82 per cent arrived on time at their destination, up from 66 per cent in July.

Globally, that number was 83.15 per cent (82 per cent in July). In Europe, it was 80.54 per cent, in the Asian Pacific 79.62 per cent and 79.29 per cent in Latin America.

A number of issues have continued to plague Canadian airports as well as those across North America, perhaps, some in the industry say, contributing to the lagging performance when compared with data in other parts of the world.

Shortages of air traffic controllers, pilots and baggage handlers have been issues the past year or so.


Airlines’ on-time performance, August 2023 (Source: Cirium Aviation Analytics)

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