Canada's Airline & Airport Delays Were Actually The Worst In The World At The Weekend

Chaotic scenes continue at Canadian airports.👇

 Passengers at a busy Vancouver International Airport. Right: An airport departure board shows many flights delayed and cancelled.
Senior Editor

Passengers at a busy Vancouver International Airport. Right: An airport departure board shows many flights delayed and cancelled.

It was a chaotic Canada Day weekend for Canadian airports and airlines this year, as they recorded the worst delay statistics worldwide.

According to data from tracking service FlightAware, Air Canada took the global top spot for delays across Saturday and Sunday with two-thirds of its flights (717 trips) taking off late.

This is 14 percentage points worse than the three carriers who shared second place, per Global News.

Ranking second in terms of delays were Jazz Aviation – another Canadian airline – and Air Canada Rouge. They joined Greek regional airline Olympic Air, having all delayed over half of their scheduled flights throughout the weekend.

That's not all, either. On Saturday, Canadian airlines WestJet and Swoop placed third and fourth respectively on the list, with 55% of their flights taking off later than they should have.

It comes as the aviation industry in Canada continues to deal with lengthy delays and disorder in airports, prompting some airlines to take drastic measures in an attempt to reduce passenger volume.

Last week, Air Canada announced that it would be cancelling and cutting thousands of summer flights following recent disruptions, cancellations and "customer service shortfalls."

Canadian airports are also struggling, with Toronto Pearson ranking second-worst globally at the weekend in terms of departure delays. On Saturday, over half of the airport's outbound flights were late.

Taking the fourth spot on the same FlightAware ranking was Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, where 43% of takeoffs were held up.

For several weeks, passengers at Canada's major airports have reported chaotic scenes, with bottlenecks at check-in desks and security checkpoints, delays at boarding gates and lost and late luggage piling up.

Canadian airlines and airports point to unprecedented challenges that are being faced by the aviation industry worldwide. A surge in demand for post-lockdown travel, complications with hiring and retention of staff, and COVID-19 related public health measures are among the ongoing challenges.

The federal government has stepped in to implement changes that they say will make it easier to travel in Canada. On July 4, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said that more screening officers have been hired, some travel restrictions have been paused and ArriveCAN has been improved.

However, he acknowledged that officials "still have a lot of work to do."

There is some good news on the horizon, though.

The Canadian Transportation Agency recently announced changes to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, which will make it easier for travellers to get refunds when they experience lengthy flight delays or cancellations.

The new rules will come into effect on September 8, 2022.

Until then, those hoping to travel this summer are urged to plan ahead and keep an eye on their emails and notifications for changes to their flight or plans.

Good luck, travellers!

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.