Airports gear up for passenger surge as spring break tests their capacity

Airports gear up for passenger surge as spring break tests their capacity

Airports and airlines are preparing for a surge in passengers ahead of spring break after the industry has struggled to meet explosions of demand at peak times over the past year.

As March break kicks off in Ontario this weekend, travellers hope to avoid a repeat of the snaking lines, lost luggage and hundreds of thousands of flight cancellations that beset them last summer and during the winter holidays.

March is busy for the airline industry as provincial spring breaks fall throughout the month.

Severe staffing shortages and high attrition rates were among the factors conspiring to snarl air travel as the industry began recovering from COVID-19 restrictions.

Last week, Toronto’s Pearson airport announced it would cap the number of flights during peak hours in order to “flatten out” daily crests and smooth the flow of passengers.

Statistics from travel data company OAG show that the percentage of on-time departures in Vancouver and Toronto fell well below that of airports in Seattle, Chicago and New York City last month, which former Air Canada chief operating officer Duncan Dee says `”does not bode well.”

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