Toronto Pearson Becomes First Canadian Airport to Reach 40 Million Passengers

- Joins ranks of world's largest airports -

TORONTO, Dec. 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Today Toronto Pearson International Airport surpassed 40 million in annual passenger traffic, making it the first Canadian airport to do so.  Canada's largest airport has been experiencing unprecedented growth in passenger numbers in 2015, with year to date growth averaging nearly 7 per cent.  The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Toronto Pearson, estimates that the airport will reach more than 41 million passengers before the end of 2015. 

"Reaching 40 million passengers at Toronto Pearson is symbolic of the growth of our region," said Howard Eng, President and CEO of the GTAA.  "This airport is among the fastest growing in North America, giving passengers the ability to reach more than 65 per cent of the world's economy through daily, non-stop flights from Toronto. Our success would not be possible without our key domestic carriers Air Canada and WestJet, as well as the hard work of all 40,000 employees at Toronto Pearson."

Toronto Pearson's tremendous passenger growth has established the airport as a major economic engine for the region and for all of Canada:

  • Last year, Toronto Pearson was the second-fastest growing airport in North America, growing at a rate of 6.8 per cent. It was second only to Seattle–Tacoma International Airport at seven per cent.
  • It facilitates the equivalent of $35.4 billion to Ontario's annual GDP (5.6 per cent of the total GDP).
  • The airport enables Canada's export economy, with 15 per cent ($31 billion) of the country's exports travelling through the airport before heading to international markets. It also allows local companies to compete at a global level and foster dynamic business relationships worldwide.
  • It's a major job creator, with 40,000 employed at the airport and an additional 227,000 jobs created throughout the region by its operations. According to a report just released by the Neptis Foundation, the employment "mega zone" around Pearson is the second-largest employment area in the country, second only to downtown Toronto, and is larger than the central business districts of Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver.

"Toronto Pearson continues to grow as a hub in global air transportation and is an important economic generator for this region and this country," said Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport. "Even in this period of tremendous growth Toronto Pearson has made strides in managing its environmental impact, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by almost 50 percent since 2006. I applaud these continuing efforts to reduce the impact of air transportation on our environment."

While airports have become increasingly competitive with each other in recent years, Toronto Pearson solidified its position as a global hub airport: 

  • Toronto Pearson is now second only to John F Kennedy for international passenger traffic and often surpasses JFK for the number of destinations it flies to each year (this shifts seasonally).   
  • Toronto Pearson has been the fastest growing connections airport in North America over the last four years – in 2014, 11.7 million passengers used Pearson to connect. Connections help airports to grow and attract passengers, as well as more destinations.  

In the past several years, Toronto Pearson has enhanced the passenger experience by growing its already extensive offering of amenities, restaurants and retail, which has received international attention. Additionally, it now offers a direct rail-link to Toronto's central business district through the 2015 launch of the UP Express. 

"Our airport is more than just a means to an end for travellers," said Mr. Eng. "It represents the joy of the journey. We plan to continue to expand our global reach and scope of services as we achieve our vision of becoming the best airport in the world. We can't do it alone. We need all levels of government to work with us to ensure that our passengers can transit to and from the airport efficiently as possible, and that we offer a hassle-free flow through customs and security screening points."

About the Greater Toronto Airports Authority
The GTAA is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport, the largest airport in Canada and one of the largest in North America in terms of passenger and air cargo traffic.

SOURCE Toronto Pearson International Airport

For further information: GTAA Media Office (416) 776-3709

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