A week after Toronto Pearson International Airport won the title of world’s worst airport for flight delays, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) says the travel hub is taking steps to restore its reputation .
In the first week of August, 44% of flights departed on time, according to the GTAA. That’s up from an average of 35% of flights departing on time each week in July.
Flight delays were so severe last month – 57% of all departures between June 1 and July 24 were delayed – that Pearson caught the attention of major international publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Newspaper and the BBC.
But August shows some improvement. Over the past week, 82% of passengers made it through security in less than 15 minutes, according to data from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, an improvement of 1% from July.
While it’s a step in the right direction, passengers shouldn’t expect a quick return to the status quo, GTAA President and CEO Deborah Flint told reporters on Friday.
“We are well on our way to restoring predictability and reliability to air travel,” Flint said, but “we are indeed a long way from the finish line.”
WATCH | Toronto Pearson International Airport has been rated the world’s worst airport for flight delays:
Canada’s busiest airport took a reputational hit this summer as travel surged for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Social media was awash with disgruntled passengers sharing their experiences, one person going so far as to call the airport “a special circle of hell.”
The airport has responded with new digital tools designed to reduce waiting times. Currently, travelers can complete customs forms online up to 72 hours before departure instead of queuing at terminal machines. They can also view live security wait times on the GTAA website.
Flint noted that the first week of August also saw improvements in other areas of airport operations.
Passengers on 19 flights were prevented from disembarking on time due to a lack of space in the customs hall last week, compared to an average of 60 flights per week throughout July.
The average wait time for baggage claim has decreased by three minutes for domestic and international flights.
The stream28:53Travelers continue to battle wait times and cancellations at airports, but experts say there won’t be relief anytime soon
Flint said that at some point in the “near future”, passengers will be able to reserve their place in security queues before arriving at the airport.
Although she does not commit to specific wait time targets, Flint said she is confident the airport will recover.