Hamilton’s airport is generally unaffected by delays and cancellations due to peak summer travel – Hamilton

Hamilton’s airport is generally unaffected by delays and cancellations due to peak summer travel – Hamilton

An executive at Hamilton International Airport says few flights on the airstrip are being adversely affected by the recent unprecedented surge in travel by Canadians this summer.

John C. Munro’s director of business development and customer experience, Dina Carlucci, says current industry-wide issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have not led to widespread cancellations and delays at the airport.

“We don’t have the kind of problems that the bigger airports face,” Carlucci said.

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“To give you perspective on that, if we moved 420 flights through the month of June, we saw a cancellation rate of two percent.”

Carlucci said delays are also “very minor” with perhaps 10 to 15-minute delays on some, usually due to problems at airports that the Hamilton flights connect with.

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“We don’t have many international flights during the summer. We fly to St. Petersburg, Orlando and Las Vegas, and those flights are a small part of the total flight that we have, Carlucci said.

“A lot of what you see on the news has to do with international flying, customs processing bags, etc.”

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All over the world, airlines and airports have struggled to cope with a massive travel boom amid staffing problems that translate into flight cancellations, baggage delays and endless queues.

Flight tracking website FlightAware recently measured the extent of the problem, with Toronto’s Pearson International labeled as the world’s worst airport for flight delays.

Data extracted between May 26 and July 19 showed 52.5 percent of Pearson’s flights were delayed – the only one in the world to have more than half of its flights affected.

Number two on the list, Frankfurt in Germany, weighed in at 45.4 percent, while Charles de Gaulle in Paris checked in at 43.2 percent.

Pearson was fourth in cancellations over the same period with 6.5 percent of its flights nixed.

Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport in China was number one with 7.9 percent of all flights cancelled.

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WestJet “proactively” removed flights from Pearson, in anticipation of summer travel

Carlucci said the airport is in ongoing talks with airlines about the possibility of flyovers from Toronto’s Pearson and Billy Bishop airports flying to Hamilton as an alternative.

The airport has cited pre-COVID usage that hit 955,373 passengers in 2019, representing 32 percent growth over 2018, mainly through seasonal routes from small carriers.

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“There’s a population in close proximity to the airport, when you look at other areas in the catchment, like London and Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara Falls, so we’re a good option to get off the freeways into Toronto,” Carlucci said.

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