Pax Global Media
Air passenger activity at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) jumped by 22.9 million, or 180.8 per cent, to 35.6 million last year, when compared to 2021, reported the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), releasing its 2022 results on Thursday (March 23).
Unsurprisingly, the number of travellers passing through Pearson increased amid the easing of COVID-related travel restrictions and pent-up travel demand compared to the previous year.
"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 of the GTAA, which operates Pearson airport.
"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."
READ MORE: Toronto Pearson deploys artificial intelligence to optimize operations
Ms. Flint noted that the GTAA is investing to create the “airport of the future,” but called on Ottawa to continue investing in modernized infrastructure.
“That includes allowing Canadian airports to reinvest the rent they pay in order to accelerate progress," stated 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."
Activity remains lower compared to 2019
Revenues also increased during 2022, when compared to 2021. However, 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, the GTAA said. Then, during the fourth quarter of 2022, passenger activity recovered to 78.9 per cent of 2019 passenger activity.
The GTAA also generated net income for the first fiscal year since 2019. Last year, the GTAA's net income increased by $422.7 million to $72.3 million.
The authority says the extent of the financial impact of the pandemic continues to be analyzed.
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.”
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