Independence unleashed: Toronto Pearson, WestJet, Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides celebrate International Guide Dog Day

TORONTO, April 26, 2023 /CNW/ – Toronto Pearson International Airport has partnered with WestJet and the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides (LFCDG) to use the airport as a training facility for new guide and assistance dogs in honour of International Guide Dog Day. 

Guide and assistance dogs and their handlers were at Terminal 3 today, April 26, providing familiarization training for the dogs on all aspects of the airport experience, including security screening and boarding an aircraft in a busy atmosphere.

Guide dogs Polly and Mango taking a break from their training session (CNW Group/Greater Toronto Airports Authority)
Today's training cohort; guide and assistance dogs and their handlers. (CNW Group/Greater Toronto Airports Authority)

“We are continuously working to identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities, and we continue to engage with our community to bring further improvements and innovations to Pearson,” said Kurush Minocher, Director, Passenger Experience and Development, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “Partnerships like these allow us to foster a positive experience for all passengers at the airport.”

“From check-in to security screening to boarding an aircraft, Dog Guides in seven different programs are able to train to continue to focus on their job while being in these busy environments,” explains Gina Lijoi, Director of Programs and Client Services at LFCDG. “We’re grateful to Toronto Pearson and West Jet, for joining forces with LFCDG to improve independent travel and customer service for travelers traveling with Dog Guides.”

The training showcased how dog guides can assist individuals with independent travel. This partnership with WestJet and the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides started more than two years ago, with trainings taking place monthly. It is part of Toronto Pearson’s ongoing commitment to create a more inclusive experience for all passengers. 

In 2022, Toronto Pearson became the first airport in North America and second in the world to receive the Airports Council International (ACI) accreditation under the Accessibility Enhancement Accreditation (AEA) program, a first-of-its-kind program dedicated to airport accessibility. The program is designed to help airports measure, evaluate, and improve their accessibility management and culture. It is the only international assessment or accreditation program dedicated to airports’ accessibility to passengers with disabilities.

To learn more about accessibility at Toronto Pearson, visit: 

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 three years running, and Toronto Pearson was the first Canadian airport to receive ACI’s global health accreditation for its response to COVID-19.

Statement from Greater Toronto Airports Authority

TORONTO, April 20, 2023 /CNW/ – The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is aware of the theft that took place this week. The GTAA wishes to clarify that thieves accessed the public side of a warehouse that is leased to a third party, outside of our primary security line. This did not involve access to Toronto Pearson itself and did not pose a threat to passengers or GTAA staff.

Greater Toronto Airports Authority Reports 2022 Results

TORONTO, March 23, 2023 /CNW/ – The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (“GTAA”) today reported its financial and operating results for 2022.  Passenger activity significantly increased by 22.9 million or 180.8 per cent to 35.6 million during 2022, when compared to 2021.  Passenger activity increased given the easing of pandemic-related travel restrictions and pent-up travel demand compared to 2021. 

“With passenger traffic growing strongly over the fourth quarter of 2022, industry must continue to focus on post-pandemic recovery with the aim of providing the stellar passenger experience that Canadians want and deserve,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO, GTAA. “The recovery is well under way and we are working with everyone across the ecosystem to give passengers a predictable customer experience, streamlined border procedures and modernized airport infrastructure.”

“The GTAA is investing to create the airport of the future, but we call for the federal government to continue investing in modernized infrastructure. That includes allowing Canadian airports to reinvest the rent they pay in order to accelerate progress,” continued Ms. Flint. “Doing so would bring about an aviation system that is globally competitive and on the leading edge of passenger service, benefiting not only travellers but all Canadians by virtue of the strong economic contribution that airports make to their communities, provinces and country.”

Key Financial and Passenger Information

Passenger Activity%
($ millions)
Total Revenues1,491.9826.8665.180.4823.5
Total operating expenses (excluding impairment of
investment property and amortization)
Net Income (Loss)72.3(350.4)422.7120.6(383.4)
Free Cash Flow 2235.4(46.3)281.7608.4(513.1)
 % Change” and “%” are based on detailed actual numbers (not rounded as presented). 
2 Please refer to Non-GAAP Financial Measures at the end of this document for further details.

Passenger activity through Toronto Pearson and resultant revenues increased during 2022, when compared to 2021, although the number of passenger and flight activity remains lower, when compared to 2019.  Passenger activity during 2022 was 70.5 per cent of activity in 2019.  During the fourth quarter of 2022, passenger activity recovered to 78.9 per cent of 2019 passenger activity.

The GTAA generated net income for the first fiscal year since 2019 (pre-COVID-19).  Earnings before interest and financing costs, impairment of investment property and amortization (“EBITDA”) increased significantly during 2022, when compared to 2021, due to a large increase in operating activity and revenues and the prudent management of operating costs.  Net income during 2022 increased by $422.7 million to $72.3 million, when compared to the net loss of 2021, due to the same reasons above. 

Free cash flow increased during 2022 by $281.7 million to $235.4 million, when compared to 2021, primarily driven by the significant increase in revenues over the increase in costs.

Management continues to analyze the extent of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now diminished, and to implement recovery plans. 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 December 31, 2022 financial results are discussed in more detail in the GTAA’s Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis, each for the year ended December 31, 2022, which are available at and on SEDAR at

Toronto Pearson deploys Assaia’s artificial intelligence to optimize operations

Implementation of this technology is another step towards Pearson’s commitment to innovation and digitization

TORONTO, March 14, 2023 /CNW/ – The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) is today announcing that it is partnering with Assaia to help enable smoother, faster and more predictable operations through the deployment of Assaia ApronAI at all of Toronto Pearson International Airport’s 106 gates.

Assaia provides an artificial intelligence solution to track every aspect of aircraft turnaround performance—physically preparing an aircraft when it lands until it takes off again for a new flight. By monitoring what is happening around the aircraft in real time, the data will be used to highlight and address inefficiencies, and to provide accurate estimates of timeliness to increase gate availability, improve on-time performance and be more transparent with passengers.

“We’re creating the airport of the future, and innovation in apron operations will directly improve the passenger experience,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the GTAA. “We’re pleased for the potential industry-wide transformation that may result from these new technologies. We are laser focused on innovations that will make Pearson and its whole apron ecosystem more efficient while reducing our carbon footprint.”

The integration of this technology is another step towards digitization for Toronto Pearson. Assaia has monitored over 1.5 million flights and observed over 3 million turnaround events while working with Seattle-Tacoma Airport, Halifax Stanfield Airport, British Airways, London Gatwick and more.

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 was 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 three years running, and Toronto Pearson was the first Canadian airport to receive ACI’s global health accreditation for its response to COVID-19.

Toronto Pearson preparing to welcome travellers for March Break, working with partners to mitigate potential weather disruptions

Passengers can take advantage of new tools to make the experience smoother

No matter the weather, Pearson’s storm protocols keep you moving

TORONTO, March 10, 2023 /CNW/ – Today, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), operator of Toronto Pearson, held a media day to provide travel tips for passengers ahead of March Break.

March Break has always been one of the busiest times at Pearson, and this year the GTAA expects up to 125,000 passengers per day during the peak travel weekend, starting today. This represents approximately 85% of pre-pandemic volume seen during March Break 2019.

Pearson has been collaborating with its partners to support their operations, including working with airlines since August of last year to ensure they balance their activity with their resources during the traditionally busy travel period.

For passengers, Pearson and its airport partners have introduced a number of tools to make travel easier.

These include:

  • YYZ Express, an online reservation program, allows travellers to book a spot in the security line ahead of their flight, up to 72 hours in advance. This will help speed up security wait times for passengers.
  • Mobile Passport Control, an app introduced by United States Customs and Border Protection, allows travellers to digitally submit their customs form for a smoother departures experience from Pearson if they’re travelling to the US.
  • Pearson’s live wait times dashboard provides travellers with real-time information ahead of arriving at the airport.
  • Pearson’s peak travel times dashboard gives passengers a look at historical data to help them understand if they’ll be passing through the airport during a busy period.
  • Advance Declaration continues to be offered by Canada Border Services Agency, which lets travellers submit their customs and immigration declaration up to 72 hours in advance of flying into Canada, giving them a faster border experience and saving them time at Pearson. And new at Pearson, passengers who complete Advance Declaration will have access to an Express Lane in the customs area, further saving them time.

Passengers can brush up on what to do to make the security screening experience smoother by checking out travel tips from CATSA. There are specific tips for families, seniors, passengers with special needs and more. 

To keep the kids entertained, Pearson will be offering activities in both terminals, including appearances by Lester the Toronto Pearson mascot, who will be handing out lip balms, colouring books, crayons and more. Ron the magician will also be on-hand to entertain families while they wait for their flights.

Travellers should also be mindful that this is the time of year when winter weather can impact travel. Potential weather disruptions in the form of snow are expected today. While every partner in the Pearson ecosystem works diligently to mitigate the effects of weather events, it’s important to know that snow, ice and extreme cold weather can impact flights.

Pearson has robust protocols in place to limit the negative impact of winter weather on flight operations. These include:

  • Our Central Deicing Facility (CDF) is capable of deicing 500 aircraft in a single day as quickly and safely as possible.
  • State-of-the-art snow removal equipment keeps the runways clear so aircraft can land and take off safely. If snow is in the forecast, we make sure extra staff are scheduled and equipment is in position so we’re ready to roll as soon as the snow falls.

We strongly encourage all passengers to check their flight status with their airline before leaving for the airport.

About the Greater Toronto Airports

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 three years running, and Toronto Pearson was the first Canadian airport to receive ACI’s global health accreditation for its response to COVID-19.

Winter 2023 heats up with release of Flair Airlines Winter Schedule

  • Winter 2023 will see an expansion in Las Vegas with the addition of service from Ottawa and Calgary
  • Existing Phoenix service will move from Phoenix-Mesa to Sky Harbor and new route from Calgary to begin in October
  • Majority of Winter 2023 capacity to be international or transborder

EDMONTON, AB, March 7, 2023 /CNW/ – Today, Flair Airlines, Canada’s everyday low fare airline, announces the release of an exciting winter 2023 schedule. The schedule features added depth across the network to give customers more choice, particularly to sunshine, at low fares.

Today’s announcement includes several new routes, including Toronto to Puerto Vallarta (beginning October 29, 4x weekly), Kitchener-Waterloo to Puerto Vallarta (beginning December 16, 3x weekly), Calgary to Las Vegas (beginning October 30, 7x weekly), and Calgary to Phoenix (beginning October 30, 4x weekly). Flair will also be the only carrier to serve Ottawa to Las Vegas (beginning October 13, 2x weekly).

Existing service from Vancouver and Edmonton to Phoenix will move to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for the season, along with the new service from Calgary to Phoenix.

“With today’s exciting announcement, we are reaffirming our commitment to Canadians,” said Stephen Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer, Flair Airlines. “Our network offers more choice to more sun destinations than ever before. Rather than one reprieve from winter, we look forward to Canadians taking the opportunity to try all of the amazing destinations in our network.”

“We’ve optimized our network this winter to match demand for sun. It’s clear that Canadians want more affordable options for sun, more often,” said Garth Lund, Chief Commercial Officer, Flair Airlines. “We’ve focused on adding depth to our network by increasing frequencies on popular routes. We’ll now have daily service various routes, including Vancouver to Los Angeles and Toronto to Orlando to make it easier for Canadians to plan their winter travel.”

One-way fares at begin at $9 one way including taxes and fees (Thunder Bay to Toronto). Limited seats for a limited time. Flights are available for booking at

All routes, including the winter schedule, are now on sale for 20% off base fare with code: SAVE20. Sale starts on March 7 and ends on March 9, 2023, for travel from March 7, 2023, to March 14, 2024. Terms and conditions apply. Limited seats for a limited time. *

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 

*Use promo code: SAVE20. Limited seats for a limited time. Base fare only. Taxes and fees not included. Sale start: March 7, 2023. Sale end: March 9, 2023. Blackout dates: April 6 – April 7, 2023; April 10, 2023; May 18 – May 19, 2023; May 22 – May 23, 2023; June 30, 2023; September 1 – September 4, 2023; October 6 – October 9, 2023; November 10 – November 13, 2023; December 15, 2023 – January 7, 2024; February 15 – February 20, 2024.

Winter 2023 Weekly Frequencies


  • Toronto (YYZ) – Fort Lauderdale (FLL): 14x weekly
  • Vancouver (YVR) – Los Angeles (LAX): 7x weekly
  • Toronto (YYZ) – New York (JFK): 4X weekly
  • Toronto (YYZ) – Las Vegas (LAS): 4x weekly
  • Vancouver (YVR) – San Francisco (SFO): 4x weekly
  • Ottawa (YOW) – Fort Lauderdale (FLL): 4x weekly
  • Toronto (YYZ) – Orlando (SFB): 7x weekly
  • Vancouver (YVR) – Las Vegas (LAS): 7x weekly
  • Edmonton (YEG) – Las Vegas (LAS): 4x weekly
  • Kitchener-Waterloo (YKF) – Fort Lauderdale (FLL): 4x weekly
  • Vancouver (YVR) – Phoenix (PHX): 3x weekly
  • Calgary (YYC) – Phoenix (PHX): 4x weekly
  • Calgary (YYC) – Las Vegas (LAS): 7x weekly
  • Kitchener-Waterloo (YKF) – Orlando (SFB): 4x weekly
  • Edmonton (YEG) – Los Angeles (LAX): 3x weekly
  • Edmonton (YEG) – Phoenix (PHX): 4x weekly
  • Ottawa (YOW) – Orlando (SFB): 4x weekly
  • Ottawa (YOW) – Las Vegas (LAS): 2x weekly


  • Vancouver (YVR) – Puerto Vallarta (PVR): 9x weekly
  • Toronto (YYZ) – Cancun (CUN): 10x weekly
  • Toronto (YYZ) – Puerto Vallarta (PVR): 4x weekly
  • Edmonton (YEG) – Puerto Vallarta (PVR): 3x weekly 
  • Abbotsford (YXX) – Puerto Vallarta (PVR): 3x weekly
  • Calgary (YYC) – Puerto Vallarta (PVR): 6x weekly
  • Kitchener-Waterloo (YKF) – Cancun (CUN) 4x weekly
  • Vancouver (YVR) – Los Cabos (SJD): 3x weekly
  • Ottawa (YOW) – Cancun (CUN): 3x weekly
  • Edmonton (YEG) – Los Cabos (SJD): 1x weekly
  • Calgary (YYC) – Los Cabos (SJD): 1x weekly
  • Abbotsford (YXX) – Los Cabos (SJD): 1x weekly
  • Kitchener-Waterloo (YKF) – Puerto Vallarta (PVR): 3x weekly


  • Toronto (YYZ) – Vancouver (YVR): 15x weekly
  • Toronto (YYZ) – Calgary (YYC): 11x weekly
  • Edmonton (YEG) – Abbotsford (YXX): 14x weekly
  • Edmonton (YEG) – Vancouver (YVR): 14X weekly
  • Abbotsford (YXX) – Calgary (YYC): 14x weekly
  • Vancouver (YVR) – Calgary (YYC): 14x weekly
  • Edmonton (YEG) – Kelowna (YLW): 11x weekly
  • Winnipeg (YWG) – Toronto (YYZ): 10x weekly
  • Kelowna (YLW) – Calgary (YYC): 7x weekly
  • Kelowna (YLW) – Vancouver (YVR): 7x weekly
  • Montreal (YUL) – Vancouver (YVR): 5x weekly
  • Edmonton (YEG) – Toronto (YYZ): 7x weekly
  • Abbotsford (YXX) – Toronto (YYZ): 7x weekly
  • Kitchener-Waterloo (YKF) – Vancouver (YVR): 4x weekly
  • Edmonton (YEG) – Winnipeg (YWG): 4x weekly
  • Winnipeg (YWG) – Calgary (YYC): 4x weekly
  • Saskatoon (YXE) – Calgary (YYC): 3x weekly
  • Vancouver (YVR) – Winnipeg (YWG): 3x weekly
  • Montreal (YUL) – Calgary (YYC): 3x weekly
  • Halifax (YHZ) – Ottawa (YOW): 4x weekly
  • Vancouver (YVR) – Saskatoon (YXE): 3x weekly
  • Saskatoon (YXE) – Toronto (YYZ): 3x weekly
  • Calgary (YYC) – Victoria (YYJ): 3x weekly
  • Edmonton (YEG) – Montreal (YUL): 4x weekly
  • Ottawa (YOW) – Vancouver (YVR): 2x weekly
  • Kitchener-Waterloo – Calgary (YYC): 3x weekly
  • Halifax (YHZ) – Kitchener-Waterloo (YKF): 2x weekly
  • Kitchener-Waterloo (YKF) – Abbotsford (YXX): 3x weekly
  • Ottawa (YOW) – Calgary (YYC): 3x weekly
  • Kitchener-Waterloo (YKF) – Winnipeg (YWG): 2x weekly
  • Edmonton (YEG) – Victoria (YYJ): 3x weekly

Swoop Announces New Domestic Routes Coming This Spring with Increased Frequencies and Connectivity

The ultra-not-expensive airline looks forward to connecting Canadians from coast to coast this summer with new routes and added capacity

CALGARY, AB, March 6, 2023 /CNW/ – Swoop, Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost airline, is excited to announce its expanded summer schedule, with several new routes and added flight frequencies, offering Canadians more affordable options for domestic travel.

“As Canada’s leading ultra-not-expensive airline, we’re proud to be expanding our footprint from coast to coast with our summer schedule,” said Bob Cummings, President of Swoop. “Convenience and affordability are paramount, so we’re focusing our ultra-not-expensive flights in true ULCC markets that enable more Canadians to explore their big, beautiful backyard.”

As part of this summer’s domestic expansion, Swoop will be adding new service between London, ON (YXU) and Abbotsford (YXX), and will restart seasonal service between Hamilton (YHM) and Charlottetown (YYG). The ULCC will also return popular service to Deer Lake, NL (YDF) with enhanced connectivity from southern Ontario, with flights operating six times weekly from Hamilton (YHM) and Toronto (YYZ).

“This summer we’re thrilled to add significant frequencies on our top performing routes,” continued Cummings. “With daily service in many key leisure markets, we’re making it easier than ever for Canadians access our ultra-convenient and ultra-affordable flights.”

Swoop is also signalling that winter is not over yet, with new seasonal extensions for its most popular sun-flying routes. Canadians can escape to the beach through the end of June with ultra-not-expensive flights from Edmonton (YEG) and Abbotsford (YXX) to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) and Los Cabos (SJD) for as low as $119.00 CAD all-in one-way*.

“The London International Airport is thrilled to announce non-stop service to beautiful Abbotsford, British Columbia with Swoop this summer” said Scott McFadzean, President and CEO of the London International Airport. “London and the surrounding region continue to look for more exciting destinations directly from YXU’s easy and comfortable airport. We’re looking forward to the spring and the launch of Abbotsford service with Swoop.”

“We are excited to welcome Swoop back for its second year to Deer Lake for the Summer 2023. Swoop provides affordable air travel, making it easier for families and friends to reconnect more often from Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario with opportunity for connection beyond. It increases access for tourists to take in the many great experiences we offer in Western Newfoundland & Labrador.” said Tammy Priddle President and CEO Deer Lake Regional Airport. “2022 was a great season with Swoop and we are confident 2023 will be another terrific year for travellers to start their adventures with Swoop at YDF”.

Swoop’s fleet growth in 2022 has enabled the ULCC to grow its presence across Canada, with a strong focus in Atlantic Canada where affordable air travel options are lean. Swoop will operate daily flights from southern Ontario into Halifax (YHZ) and St. John’s (NL) and near daily flights to Charlottetown (YYG). West coast connectivity will continue to soar with a 67% increase in flights operating to Abbotsford (YXX).

With one-way all-in prices starting from just $39 CAD*, there’s never been a better time to start planning a great Canadian adventure.

Lowest one-
way total
price (CAD)
Taxes &
Fees (CAD)
Hamilton to Deer Lake2x weekly$59.00$15.23$43.77
Deer Lake to Hamilton2x weekly$59.00$16.14$42.86
Toronto to Deer Lake4x weekly$79.00$28.84$50.16
Deer Lake to Toronto4x weekly$79.00$32.62$46.38
Hamilton to Charlottetown3x weekly$59.00$16.14$42.87
Charlottetown to Hamilton3x weekly$49.00$11.53$37.47
London to Abbotsford4x weekly$49.00$25.29$23.71
Abbotsford to London4x weekly$39.00$22.84$16.16
Toronto to Los Cabos2x weekly$179.00$65.88$113.12
Edmonton to Los Cabos2x weekly$119.00$8.68$113.32
Abbotsford to Los Cabos1x weekly$109.00$35.43$73.57
Edmonton to Puerto Vallarta2x weekly$139.00$28.66$110.34
Abbotsford to Puerto Vallarta2x weekly$119.00$55.43$73.57

*Seasonal start and end dates apply and are indicated in the booking flow. | Fares are valid until March 7, 2023 or while seats last. | Prices displayed are subject to change and are not guaranteed until payment is made and accepted. | Seats at these fares are limited, and may not be available on all flights. | Non-refundable.

About Swoop

Swoop is on a mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Established in 2018 as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies, Swoop is Canada’s ultra-not-expensive airline. Offering scheduled service to destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, Swoop’s unbundled fares put travellers in control of purchasing only the products and services they desire.   

Swoop’s fleet of ten Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft expanded in 2022 to add six Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, for a total of 16 aircraft.  

At travellers can quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, and track flights.