Canada’s Airlines and Airports Recorded World’s Worst Long Weekend Delays – National |

Canadian airlines and airports ranked first for flight delays during the July long weekend, outpacing almost any other worldwide.

Air Canada ranked first for delays on Saturday and Sunday as two-thirds of its flights, 717 trips in all, took off late, according to tracking service FlightAware. It was more than 14 percentage points ahead of the three carriers tied for second place.

Jazz Aviation, a Halifax-based company that provides regional services for Air Canada, and lower-cost Air Canada Rouge, saw 53 percent of delayed flights, putting them in second place along with the Greek regional carrier. Olympic Air.

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On Saturday, WestJet and budget subsidiary Swoop ranked third and fourth at 55 percent.

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As for airports, Toronto’s Pearson ranked second on Sunday after 53 percent of departures were delayed, trailing only China’s main Guangzhou airport. Pearson beat Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and Frankfurt airport in Germany.

Montreal airport ranked sixth on Sunday with 43 percent delayed takeoffs, on par with London’s Heathrow, according to figures from FlightAware.

Click to play video: 'Summer cancellations leave airline passengers struggling'

Summer cancellations leave airline passengers struggling

Summer cancellations leave airline passengers struggling

Air Canada said last week it will cut more than 15 per cent of its summer schedule, nearly 10,000 flights in July and August, as the country’s aviation network collapses due to an overwhelming resurgence in travel.

Reserved for legal holidays in Canada and the US, the weekend saw scenes of long lines and baggage mazes flooding social media as airports around the world grappled with the start of peak travel season after two years of accumulated demand.

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Passenger flow at Canadian airports is already at 2019 levels during peak hours, though closer to 80 per cent of pre-pandemic volumes overall, experts say.

“This is going to be with us all summer,” said Helane Becker, an airline analyst at investment firm Cowen.

“Almost all airlines encouraged people to retire early or take leave. And those people who retired early may not want to go back to work,” he said of airline employees.

“It’s hard to rebuild from those lows.”

Click to Play Video: 'Long Weekend Travel Troubles When Millions Take to the Sky and Roads for Vacations'

Long weekend travel woes when millions take to the skies and highways for vacation

Long weekend travel woes when millions take to the skies and highways for vacation

Some pilots have yet to renew their licences, while ground crew and baggage handling jobs remain vacant, or are fast becoming vacant, due to low wages and stressful working conditions, the unions say.

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Government agencies have been on a hiring spree for airport security and customs, with more than 900 new security screeners installed since April, though not all are authorized to work with the scanners, according to the federal Department of Transportation.

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Half of domestic flights to Canada’s major airports were delayed and canceled last week

“Airlines have also used the pandemic to remove aircraft types from their fleet and to ground and retire their older aircraft. It’s hard to get these planes back once you park them without doing a lot of maintenance,” added Becker.

“As demand continues to increase, we are basically seeing the inability of airlines to accommodate it easily. And I think that’s true all over the world.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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