Greater Toronto Airport Authority Reports 2022 Second Quarter Results

TORONTO, Aug. 10, 2022 /CNW/ – The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (“GTAA”) today reported its financial and operating results for the three- and six-months ended June 30, 2022.  Passenger activity increased by 8.3 million or 780.4 per cent and by 12.5 million or 584.1 per cent during the second quarter of 2022 and the first six months of 2022, respectively, when compared to the same periods of 2021.  Passenger activity increased given the easing of pandemic-related travel restrictions and pent-up travel demand compared to the same period of 2021.  Nevertheless, all measures of operating activity continue to be well below 2019 levels due to the impact of the pandemic on the GTAA and the global aviation industry in general.

The second quarter of 2022 saw the continued easing of the pandemic and associated travel restrictions, and the resultant increase in travel volume.  However, ongoing staffing challenges, health measures (vaccination mandates, airport testing, which were in place until mid-June 2022) and other changes to procedures had broad impacts on the whole aviation sector, including: the airlines and their service providers in the provision of timely departures and baggage return; the government agencies providing border security and customs services; and NavCanada, the country’s air navigation operator. Airports, the Government of Canada and the airline industry have been working to address these various transitory challenges collectively.

“Our second quarter results reflect a growing desire on the part of the public to travel by air and connect with the people and places they love after a very long two years,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO, GTAA. “Wait times continue to improve, but we’re not where we need to be yet. It is imperative that industry and government continue to collaborate to solve the acute issues the aviation system is facing. We must also seize the opportunity in these challenges to make changes that will benefit our valued passengers in the longer term by continuing to digitize our border and the country’s airports for a smoother and more predictable travel experience.”

Passenger activity through Toronto Pearson and resultant revenues increased during the second quarter of 2022 and the first six months of 2022, when compared to the same periods of 2021, due to the easing of the pandemic and travel restrictions, and pent-up travel demand, although the number of passenger and flight activity remains significantly lower, when compared to the same periods in 2019. 

Earnings before interest and financing costs and amortization (“EBITDA”) increased significantly during the second quarter of 2022 and the first six months of 2022, when compared to the same periods of 2021, due to a large increase in operating activity and revenues and the prudent management of operating costs.  Net income during the second quarter of 2022 and the first six months of 2022 increased by $252.0 million to $51.5 million, as compared to the net losses of the same periods of 2021, due to the same reasons above. 

Free cash flow increased during the second quarter of 2022 and the first six months of 2022 by $188.5 million to $77.1 million and by $259.6 million to $110.6 million, respectively, when compared to the same periods of 2021, primarily driven by the significant increase in revenues over the increase in costs.

As a result of COVID-19, potential new variants and changing travel restrictions in place in Canada and around the world, together with the staffing and other challenges faced by the global aviation industry, there remains limited accurate visibility on the future of travel demand.  The GTAA cannot accurately predict the timing of a full recovery.  Management continues to analyze the extent of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has diminished. While the full duration and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be known at this time, in the long-term the GTAA believes that full recovery will be achieved, and the pandemic will not have a material impact on the long-term financial sustainability of the Airport.

The GTAA’s June 30, 2022 financial results are discussed in more detail in the GTAA’s Condensed Interim Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis, each for the three- and six-months ended June 30, 2022, which are available at www.torontopearson.com.

About the Greater Toronto Airports Authority

The GTAA is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Flair Airlines adds affordable non-stop sun service between Toronto and Cancun, moves Los Angeles service to LAX

  • Twice weekly service from Toronto to Cancun begins November 3, beginning at $109 CAD
  • Service from Edmonton and Vancouver changes to Los Angeles (LAX) from Hollywood-Burbank (BUR) on October 31
  • Added frequencies between Vancouver and Puerto Vallarta (4x weekly) and between Vancouver and Los Cabos (3x weekly)

Edmonton, Alberta, August 3, 2022 – Flair Airlines, Canada’s everyday low fare airline, is adding another exciting route to its Mexico network with service to Cancun from Toronto. Twice weekly service will connect Torontonians to Cancun, nonstop. There will also be additional frequencies added on several Mexico routes. Flair is also moving its Los Angeles operations from Hollywood Burbank Airport to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), effective October 31.

“We’re delighted to add an additional route to our network in Mexico. We know that Canadians will be looking to beat the winter blues by escaping to the sandy beaches of Cancun, and we’ve added additional service to the airport to allow people to chase the sun affordably,” said Stephen Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Flair Airlines. “As we continue our growth in the Mexican market, we look forward to increasing frequencies on our routes and adding new destinations. We can’t wait to be a part of your next sunny vacation.”

Toronto to Cancun is now one of eight Mexican routes, joining service to Cancun from Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa. Travellers can also fly to Los Cabos from Abbotsford, Edmonton, and Vancouver (with increased frequency from 2x weekly to 3x weekly), as well as the newly added Puerto Vallarta routes from Edmonton and Vancouver this fall which will be increased from 1x weekly to 4x weekly.

Other changes for the winter include Flair’s move from Hollywood-Burbank to LAX. The airport is close to LA attractions such as Venice Beach, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills. Service to Los Angeles begins on October 31 from Edmonton (3x weekly) and November 1 from Vancouver (4x weekly). “We are thrilled to have secured gate availability at LAX’s spectacular new Tom Bradley International Terminal,” said Jones.

“We are confident that our LAX service will resonate well with our customers and are looking forward to growing our capacity in the market starting this winter.” One-way fares to Cancun from Toronto, including taxes and fees, begin at $109 CAD.

One-way fares to Los Angeles, including taxes and fees, begin at $99 CAD from both Edmonton and Vancouver. There are limited seats and availability for the fares. All flights are now available for booking at https://www.flyflair.com.

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines is Canada’s leading low-fare airline and its greenest airline, on a mission to provide affordable air travel that connects them to the people and experiences they love. With an expanding fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, Flair is growing to serve over 35 cities across Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. For more information, please visit www.flyflair.com.

WestJet announces domestic winter service suspensions as airline transitions strategic direction

By WestJet | July 18, 2022

Winter service to Charlottetown, Fredericton, Sydney and Quebec City to be suspended as of November 15, 2022

As WestJet begins to strategically transition flying in Eastern Canada to focus on sun and leisure destinations as well as enhanced connections to Western Canada, the airline has announced the suspension of winter service to four communities in Eastern and Atlantic Canada. Effective November 15, 2022, service will be suspended to, Fredericton, N.B., Sydney, N.S., Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Quebec City, QC. Service between now and November 15, 2022, will NOT be affected.

Any guests with impacted travel will be notified beginning on July 18, 2022, either directly or through their travel agent. WestJet will strive to rebook guests with alternative travel arrangements, or guests will be eligible for a refund to original form of payment. More details are available here: https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/contact/alternate-travel-arrangements.

“We understand this is disappointing news and we apologize for any disruption this will cause our guests and communities,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “We are undertaking these strategic changes in a responsible manner and it was critical to give our guests and the communities as much advance notice as possible.”

WestJet recently announced how a growing, stronger, sustainable WestJet will benefit Canadians, following a strategic review to determine the best course for the airline’s sustained future success. This August, WestJet will release the airline’s full winter 2022/2023 schedule that will see significant sun and leisure flying investments for Eastern Canada along with capacity enhancements nationwide.   

“As a national airline, we will continue to engage with these communities and stakeholders as we look to enhance service to Eastern and Atlantic Canada through direct connections to Western Canada, sun and leisure destinations,” continued Weatherill. “By making these difficult decisions now, it will ensure we can offer more of what our guests expect from WestJet and solidify our airline as the most reliable and affordable airline for many years to come.”

Impacted routes:

Route Peak FrequencyServiceSuspension Date
Fredericton – Toronto  13x weeklyWestJet EncoreNovember 15, 2022
Sydney – Halifax 7x weekly WestJet EncoreNovember 15, 2022
Charlottetown – Toronto 3x weeklyWestJetNovember 15, 2022
Quebec City – Toronto  21x weeklyWestJet Encore November 15, 2022

Greater Toronto Airports Authority CEO provides progress update at Toronto Pearson

TORONTO, Aug. 5, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, Deborah Flint, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), provided stakeholders and media with an update on operational progress at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

“Thanks to strong collaboration from partners, we’re seeing measurable improvements in flight delays, cancellations, baggage delivery and wait times,” Ms. Flint said. “The aviation system worldwide is facing a perfect storm as it strives to improve operations in the aftermath of COVID-19. But the industry is rebounding, and the metrics we are sharing today show how working with our partners is yielding results.”

The GTAA’s goal is to smooth the journey through Pearson so that passengers can reach their destinations with a minimum of disruption. While acknowledging the difficulties faced this summer, Ms. Flint said the GTAA is focussing on two key operational areas: passenger experience and digital tools.

Passenger experience

Responsibility for the passenger journey is shared. The GTAA has collaborated with airlines, government and other partners on technological advancements, hiring and passenger education. The GTAA has also worked collaboratively with its partners on voluntary schedule reductions.

As a result, Toronto Pearson is now seeing improvements across several key performance metrics, which it expects to continue or accelerate into the fall:

Security screening

  • The most recent data from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) indicates that 82 per cent of passengers last week cleared security in less than 15 minutes; this is a one percentage point increase over the rolling average for the previous four weeks.

Airline on-time performance

  • Last week, across the airport, 44 per cent of all flights were on time, versus a 35 per cent average for the four previous weeks.

International arrivals

  •  At times, the airport is forced to hold passengers on their plane to make room in the customs hall. This happened 19 times last week, an improvement from a four-week rolling average of 60 plane holds per week.

Baggage delivery

  • Baggage delivery is managed by the airlines, but Toronto Pearson has made it an ongoing focus for collaborative improvement. For domestic travel, the average wait time for bags to arrive at the carousel is now 24 minutes, a three-minute improvement over the four-week average. The same metric also improved by three minutes for international bags, and by four minutes for transborder bags.

Digital tools

  • To put power back in passengers’ hands and help them be active enablers of a smoother experience, the GTAA is committed to providing more tools to give insight into what to expect, including interactive infographics; a peak times dashboard with information on how busy each terminal is based on historical information from the past two weeks; and an at-a-glance resource that will be updated weekly with many of the data points Ms. Flint discussed today.
  • Ms. Flint will host regular press conferences at the airport where she and her team will provide a status update on operational progress and answer questions from the media.

The progress made in recent weeks shows that this summer has been a transitionary period made particularly challenging by the length of time the Canadian aviation sector was shut down. The GTAA is committed to making systematic changes to the way passengers move through the airport and across borders by studying global best practices and working with industry partners and the federal government to champion further changes so that Toronto Pearson continues to be a global leader in connecting people and businesses.

About the Greater Toronto Airports Authority

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is the operator of Toronto – Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest airport and a vital connector of people, businesses and goods. Toronto Pearson has been named “Best Large Airport in North America serving more than 40 million passengers” for five years in a row by Airports Council International (ACI), the global trade representative of the world’s airports. In recognition of its Healthy Airport program, ACI has also awarded Toronto Pearson the “Best hygiene measures in North America” award for two years running, and Toronto Pearson was the first Canadian airport to receive ACI’s global health accreditation for its response to COVID-19.

Canada Jetlines Change Launch Date

TORONTO, ON, AUGUST 4, 2022 – Canada Jetlines Operations Ltd. (NEO: CJET) (“Canada Jetlines”) the new, all-Canadian, leisure airline, has announced a change to the date of inaugural flights out of Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Winnipeg (YWG) and Moncton, New Brunswick (YQM).

The inaugural flights originally scheduled for August 15, 2022, have been tentatively rescheduled for August 29, 2022, subject to receipt of final licensing approval. Canada Jetlines is working closely with Transport Canada (“TC”) and Canadian Transportation Association, who are currently evaluating all completed documentation required for this application. The carrier looks forward to welcoming Canadian travellers before the end of the summer season.

“We’ve made the difficult decision to change our launch date as we continue to work with the regulatory authorities in Canada to secure our AOC,” shared Eddy Doyle, CEO of Canada Jetlines. “We greatly appreciate the effort and diligence that TC goes through to approve new airlines and remain optimistic throughout the process. We will continue to build strategic partnerships with destinations, travel agencies, and airports as we build out our five-year strategy.”

Canada Jetlines will be offering launch special fares available for a limited time for flights out of its travel hub at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to domestic destinations Moncton, NB (YQM) and Winnipeg, MB (YWG). To book ticket reservations or vacation packages, visit Jetlines.com and plan with your preferred travel agent. Follow Canada Jetlines on all social media platforms and follow #CanadaJetlines for the latest news and updates.

Tickets are being sold pursuant to an exemption from the application of section 59 of the Canada Transportation Act. This exemption allows Canada Jetlines to sell tickets for air travel prior to issuance of its license. Canada Jetlines air service is subject to the Canadian Transportation Agency’s approval, and all prospective passengers will be informed, before a reservation is made or a ticket is issued, that the air service is subject to the Canadian Transportation Agency’s approval.

Major victory for WestJet workers at Toronto Pearson International Airport

TORONTO, Aug. 3, 2022 /CNW/ – WestJet workers at Pearson International Airport have won a major victory in their right to representation as the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) certifies Unifor as their sole bargaining agent.

“WestJet workers in Toronto have gained a voice in their workplace, joining with workers in Vancouver and Calgary as members of Unifor. These employees have tremendous experience to offer their employer as airlines face an increase in travel demand from pre-pandemic travel demand,” said Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne.

“It is imperative that workers have a strong voice in future decisions at WestJet to ensure fairness and job protection with the airline.”

Unifor applied with the Canada Industrial Relations Board on July 11, 2022, to certify Unifor as the union for 374 WestJet workers at Toronto Pearson International Airport. On July 29, 2022, the CIRB certified Unifor as the sole bargaining agent after declaring that a majority of the workers signed membership cards.

“This is an important step in creating more stability, predictability and protection. I’m happy that collectively we have found our voice as we move toward fairness with fair treatment for ourselves, our co-workers and our families,” said Michelle Lindo-Collins, WestJet Customer Service Agent.

As airline travel rebounded post-pandemic, workers in Toronto have often faced increased pressures as frontline representatives with the public when plans did not go as expected due to flight delays, cancellations and long wait times at the airport.

“Our collective efforts to sustain the day-to-day operation and hold onto what WestJet represents have weighed on us all through these difficult times. Along with Unifor, we hope to build on the momentum to see change here in Toronto. We look forward to growing WestJet and positively impacting our guests throughout their travel plans,” said Keaton Cole, WestJet Customer Service Agent.

“I’m happy to join my co-workers in Calgary and Vancouver as members of Unifor. United together, we look forward to growing WestJet while providing good jobs and benefits to employees who provide exceptional daily service,” shared Wesley Watson a Customer Service Agent in the baggage department.

Unifor represents 7,500 airport agents at other airlines, including Air Canada, Jazz, Porter, First Air, Calm Air and more. In all, Unifor represents more than 16,000 workers across the airline industry.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.