Despite the Trudeau government’s task force to solve the chaos at Canada’s airports, Canadian travellers experienced some of the worst delays over the long weekend in the world, according to the aviation tracking service FlightAware.

On Saturday and Sunday, Air Canada ranked first in excessive waits as 717 of its flights were delayed – more than 14 percentage points above carriers tied for second place. 

Jazz Aviation and Air Canada Rouge, both Air Canada affiliates, saw 53% of their flights delayed, placing both airlines in second — tied with Greek budget carrier Olympic Air. 

On Saturday, WestJet and Swoop placed third and fourth with 55% of their flights delayed. 

Canada’s airports also topped FlightAware’s figures as Toronto’s Pearson International Airport claimed the second spot on Sunday after 53% of departures were delayed. Guangzhou’s main airport in China was placed first. 

Meanwhile, Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport placed sixth on Sunday with 43% of departing flights delayed. 

Critics have argued that the Trudeau government’s ongoing travel restrictions are the root cause of the delays at Canada’s airports. 

Despite the massive delays, the feds recently announced that all existing border restrictions to enter Canada will remain in place until at least Sept. 30. Foreign travellers entering Canada still need to provide proof of vaccination and unvaccinated Canadians or permanent residents still need to provide a Covid-19 test taken prior to entering Canada. 

The government is still requiring travellers to use the frequently broken ArriveCan app, which forces individuals to upload their vaccine information and travel documents prior to entering Canada. 

In June, the Trudeau government announced a “new task force to improve government services for Canadians,” in an attempt to address the ongoing chaos at Canada’s airports and passport offices.

Despite the newly-created task force, Air Canada announced last week that it would be cutting thousands of flights from its schedule in hopes of better accommodating travellers.

The airline will have to reduce its normal schedule of around 1,000 flights per day by an average of 154 flights per day for July and August so fewer travellers will have their flights delayed or cancelled because of airport conditions.

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Harrison Faulkner is producer and journalist for True North based in Toronto.

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