Pearson Airport in Mississauga could lose travellers, and dollars, to airport in Buffalo


Published November 8, 2021 at 2:35 pm

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Pearson Airport in Mississauga could soon feel the financial pinch of losing business from southern Ontario travellers who instead decide to fly out of Buffalo Airport now that the Canada-U.S. land border has reopened. 

Starting today, non-essential traffic resumed moving into and out of Canada at border crossings across the country, including the high-traffic land crossings in the Niagara region.  

It marks the first time since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced border closures, that the routes have been open in both directions to such travel, as long as those crossing the border are fully vaccinated. 

And it didn’t take long for some travellers to cross into the U.S. to take advantage of less expensive flights out of Buffalo Airport, compared to Pearson. 

Some groups of travellers were reportedly spotted, luggage in hand, crossing the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls on foot to link up with transportation on the other side to get to the U.S. airport.  

And Buffalo Airport has tweeted several messages in recent days urging Canadian travellers to fly to their destinations out of Buffalo. 

The latest tweet, posted around lunchtime today, simply reads: “Welcome back to #BUF, #Canada!” 

Last Thursday, the Twitter message from Buffalo Airport to Canadian travellers contained a bit more detail. 

“We’re excited to welcome back our Canadian travellers next week. If you’re driving from Canada to fly out of (Buffalo), you need to be fully vaccinated, but you do not have to get a COVID-19 test,” the tweet reads. 

Buffalo Airport officials have reason to be excited, pre-pandemic travel numbers show.  

According to the airport, some two million Canadians fly out of and back into Buffalo each year, accounting for roughly 40 per cent of annual airport travellers. The motivation for most is, in many cases, significantly cheaper flights in addition to convenience and considerably smaller airport crowds and lineups. 

It’s been reported numerous times that a family of four flying out of Buffalo instead of Pearson can realize significant savings. On a trip to Orlando, for example, a family could save as much as $500, if not more.

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