Pearson Airport in Mississauga struggles through pandemic, but passengers are quickly returning


Published November 12, 2021 at 10:03 am

Passengers, and dollars, are quickly returning to Mississauga’s Pearson Airport the past few months, but the organization that runs Canada’s largest airport says overall losses during the COVID-19 pandemic have been significant. 

Numbers released yesterday by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Pearson, show 4.7 million passengers passed through airport gates between July and September this year compared to 1.7 million during the same time period in 2020.  

In those same periods, total revenues for Pearson increased to $245.7 million this year from $148.3 million in 2020.  

However, a much different picture emerges when numbers for the first nine months of 2021 are compared to January through September of last year, the GTAA’s third-quarter 2021 results show. 

Passenger activity so far in 2021 sits at 6.8 million, compared to 11.8 million last year, and total revenues so far this year are $552 million, compared to $673 million in 2020. 

GTAA president and CEO Deborah Flint said the impact of the pandemic on Pearson Airport’s business has been dramatic and it continues to significantly impact airport operations. 

“Nonetheless, we are experiencing a return of passengers and therefore continue to focus resources on measures designed to cultivate a healthy airport experience for passengers and employees alike,” she continued, adding Pearson “…will maintain its industry-leading role through the ongoing evolution of its globally recognized Healthy Airport program, and in doing so reinforce a pathway for recovery and return the airport to its place as a strong economic driver for our local community, our province and our country.”
The GTAA says despite the huge negative impact of the pandemic on airport business, “during the second and third quarters of 2021, operating activity at the airport has grown significantly from the same periods of 2020, due in part to a domestic vaccination rollout and the easing of government travel restrictions. Nevertheless, all measures of operating activity continue to be well below the 2019 levels.” 

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