Nearly 1 million more travellers have used Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario this year

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Published May 10, 2024 at 3:16 pm

Passenger numbers at Pearson Airport in Mississauga.

Nearly one million more travellers passed through the terminals at Pearson Airport in Mississauga during the first three months of this year compared to the same time period in 2023, the latest numbers from Canada’s biggest and busiest airport show.

Officials with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates Pearson, said in a news release Thursday 10.9 million air travellers used Pearson between January and the end of March of this year compared to 10 million during those same three months last year.

The 8.7 per cent increase brings Pearson closer to getting travel numbers back to levels that existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During the first quarter of 2024, passenger activity recovered to 92.3 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2019 passenger activity,” airport officials said.

Deborah Flint, GTAA president and CEO, said the report, which tracks passenger activity and financial information each quarter of the year (see chart below), shows an improving situation at Pearson.

She characterized the first three months of 2024 as a period that “was one of strong passenger growth, enabled by” a continued resiliency shown in the air travel sector.

“Our financial performance continues to strengthen, along with improved customer experience and operational performance, as evidenced by a six per cent increase in on-time performance (departures) compared to the same period of 2023,” she added.

“To complement increased passenger growth, we will undertake improvements to airport assets, such as the addition of high-speed taxi lanes to improve airfield performance, modernized airfield electric lighting and control systems, and power generation and energy efficiencies to move us toward our net-zero targets.”

Chart shows latest passenger and other information at Pearson Airport. (Source: Greater Toronto Airports Authority)

On the financial front, Pearson officials noted revenues have increased by $42.8 million from January-to-March 2023 to the first three months of 2024. The airport generated $468.5 million in total revenue the first quarter of this year.

GTAA officials said the increase is “primarily due to the growth in passenger and flight activity through Toronto Pearson.”

Looking back to last year’s traveller numbers, nearly seven million more people used Pearson during the first half of 2023 compared to the same time period in 2022. In 2022, Pearson and other airports were seeing lower numbers as pandemic-related restrictions on air travel were still being lifted.

In all of 2023, 44.8 million people used Pearson (28.3 million international travellers, 16.5 million domestic) compared to  35.6 million passengers (21.3 million international, 14.3 million domestic) in 2022.

That’s a 25.8 per cent increase, airport officials noted.

In 2021, 12.7 million travellers used Pearson as numerous air travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic were in place. In 2020, year one of the pandemic, 13.3 million passengers were counted.

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