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The situation at Pearson International Airport continues to improve, with fewer flight delays and shorter waits for baggage compared with previous weeks, the Greater Toronto Airport Authority said Friday.
The GTAA's president and CEO, Deborah Flint, said 44 per cent of flights were on time last week, up from an average of 35 per cent over the four previous weeks.
"This is not normally a number that I would normally tout at all, but given where we have been for the last four weeks and even before that, improving from 35 per cent is substantial," she said at a news conference from the airport.
For domestic travel, the average wait time for bags to arrive at the carousel is now 24 minutes, a three-minute improvement over the previous four-week average, Flint said.
As well, she says there were fewer instances where passengers were held on their planes to make room in the customs hall – 19 last week, down from the rolling average of 60 in the previous four weeks.
The most recent data from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority shows 82 per cent of passengers last week cleared security in less than 15 minutes, an improvement of one percentage point over the rolling average for the previous four weeks, she added.
"We are indeed far from the finish line, but the actions of the GTAA, the federal government, the agencies, the airlines and many other partners working concertedly together are indeed having a positive impact," Flint said.
Airlines and airports have been grappling with a surge in travel this summer, compounded by staffing shortage affecting both carriers and federal agencies.
That's led to widespread flight cancellations, baggage delays and lengthy lineups, with Pearson the hardest hit by these issues. On some days, Pearson – Canada's largest airport hub – has seen more than half of its flight departures delayed.