Transport minister set to meet with airports, airlines this week to address delays

By Cormac Mac Sweeney

The federal transport minister is set to meet with airport authorities and airlines this week in order to address the continued backlogs at airports across the country.

As passengers still face frustrating delays while trying to board a flight, Omar Alghabra says he will be meeting with the four largest airports as well as WestJet and Air Canada to try and better address the delays.

“Airlines have a duty as well, we’re hearing some stories about luggage issues and flight cancellations,” Alghabra says, “we want to make sure that the airlines as well do their part, I know they’re working very hard, but we want to make sure they do their part, airports also have to do their part.”

RELATED: Staffing shortages, passport and Nexus backlogs: What’s being done to fix travel delays?

When asked what levers he has to push airports and airlines to address their staffing issues Alghabra notes there is now an air passenger bill of rights requiring airlines to provide a certain level of service.

The minister says the feds have done their part by hiring more border agents and around 900 new screeners.

“Many of them are still in training, some are finishing their training,” Alghabra says, “even some of the ones who are in training are able to do some tasks on the line that can help alleviate pressure so many of them are already on the ground.”

Alghabra could not say exactly when the delays will ease, but notes progress is being made with data showing wait times are reducing, “we’re just focusing all of our effort, combined efforts, to address this issue.”

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