Pearson hikes airport improvement fees amid slumping revenues
Published Wednesday, September 30, 2020 5:28PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 30, 2020 9:24PM EDT
Travellers passing through Toronto Pearson International Airport should be prepared to shell out a little bit more for travel next year.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority announced Wednesday that starting January 1, 2021, airport improvement fees will be going up.
The airport improvement fees (AIF) for departing passengers will increase by five dollars to $30 while the fees for connecting passengers will increase to $6 from $2. Aeronautical rates for commercial aviation will increase by three per cent.
Aeronautical rates for all business and general aviation aircraft 19,000 kilograms or less will increase to $575 per arrival.
The airport says this is the first time it has hiked the airport improvement fee in 11 years and the first time that it has raised commercial aeronautical rates in 13 years.
The airport said the move is necessary in order “to continue delivering on passenger requirements for a healthy airport environment, and to support continued strong financial liquidity.”
"The impact of the pandemic on Toronto Pearson's business and Canada's aviation sector has been nothing short of devastating," GTAA President and CEO Deborah Flint said in a statement. "These changes to aeronautical rates and the AIF follow more than a decade during which there were no increases to commercial aeronautical rates or the AIF at Toronto Pearson. Today's announcement will position the GTAA fiscally for continued investments in healthy travel and industry recovery."
The airport said it has already taken “significant steps” to reduce its costs, including reducing its workforce by 27 per cent.
Like many sectors of the economy, the travel industry has been hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions remain in place for many countries, including at the U.S.-Canada border, and the federal government is still strongly discouraging non-essential travel.
The federal government has not set an end date to restrictions at the border and has said that they will remain in place as long as necessary in order to manage the pandemic.