Pearson Airport in Mississauga tops in the world with 52% of flights delayed


Published July 22, 2022 at 4:48 pm

Pearson Airport in Mississauga has had the most flight delays of any airport in the world since the end of May, a recent study shows.

According to data provided by airline tracking service FlightAware, Pearson led the way among hundreds of international airports with 52.5 per cent of its scheduled flights delayed between May 26 and July 19.

The data, which was compiled for CNN in the U.S., also revealed that Pearson stands fourth in the world for flight cancellations, with 6.5 per cent of its flights grounded during the same time period.

In response to the issues at Pearson, Air Canada introduced a flexible policy earlier this week that allows travellers under certain conditions to change their departure or arrival airport, free of charge, from Pearson to Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto, among other options.

Canada’s flagship carrier said it made the move “due to longer than usual delays” at Pearson Airport. The options are available to passengers whose tickets are for travel no later than Aug. 15.

While topping such a list isn’t great news for Pearson, other airports in Canada, the U.S. and around the world are facing similar issues–and have for the past several months since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and people returned to air travel in unexpectedly huge numbers.

Those numbers have led to other issues as well including lost luggage, huge lineups and, in some cases, general chaos at airports, most of which are facing staff shortages as well.

Seven of the top 10 airports in the world for flight delays so far this summer (May 26 to July 19) are in Europe, with airports in Frankfurt (second on the list, 45.4 per cent flights delayed), Paris (third, 43.2 per cent), Amsterdam (fourth, 41.5 per cent) and London Gatwick (fifth, 41.1 per cent) experiencing the most significant delays.

Only one U.S. airport, Orlando International (10th, 33.4 per cent), made the top 10 list while Sydney (ninth, 34.2 per cent) also made the cut.

Nos. six through eight on the list, respectively, are Heathrow Airport in the U.K. (40.5 per cent), Munich (40.4 per cent) and Athens (37.9 per cent).

In terms of cancellations, the FlightAware data shows that Shenzhen in China (7.9 per cent cancelled flights), Newark in the U.S. (7.4 per cent) and LaGuardia, New York (7 per cent) all tracked worse numbers than Pearson, which was fourth with 6.5 per cent of flights grounded.

Further numbers show that in May, some 2,700 international flights were delayed at Pearson, affecting more than 490,000 passengers. By comparison, only four such flights were delayed in May 2019, prior to COVID-19 and related travel restrictions.

Earlier this summer, in response to various issues the aviation industry is facing as travellers return to airports in huge, unexpected numbers, Air Canada announced it will cut dozens of daily flights this summer from Pearson Airport and other airports across the country.

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