Passengers line up to check in at Newark Liberty International Airport on July 1. Newark is the number 2 airport in the world to cancel this summer. (Gina Munn, Getty Images)
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Salt Lake City – Anyone who’s been to the airport recently can see that the demand for travel is back in a big way. What is no longer for revenge are the resources to deal with the crush of air travelers.
Add summer weather to staffing issues at airports and airlines and you’ve got a perfect storm of delays and cancellations.
At one North American airport — Toronto Pearson International Airport in Canada — more than half of flights scheduled between May 26 and July 19 were delayed, according to data compiled for CNN Travel by flight-tracking website FlightAware.
Data shows that 52.5% of scheduled flights to the airport have been delayed this summer. Toronto Pearson also ranks fourth in flight cancellations globally, with 6.5% of its flights canceled during that period.
Air Canada on Tuesday introduced a flexible policy offering fee-free changes (subject to availability) specifically targeting Toronto Pearson “due to longer-than-usual delays.”
The policy allows travelers to change their departing or arriving flights to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport or extend connection times at Toronto Pearson.
Air Canada has already reduced its summer schedule to reduce flight disruptions, and the Federal Transport Agency of Canada is working with industry to reduce wait times.
Europe also suffers from delays
Of course, it’s not just Toronto airport that suffers from turmoil.
Seven of the world’s 10 biggest airports with delays this summer, ranked by percentage of delayed scheduled flights, are in Europe. According to FlightAware data, airports in Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam and London are experiencing the most significant delays.
London Heathrow Airport recently took the unusual step of asking airlines to stop selling tickets abroad this summer.
Only one airport in the United States ranked first on the list of global delays: Orlando International Airport in Florida. In separate FlightAware U.S. data that CNN examined last week, three airports in Florida made the list of the top 10 airports in the United States.
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN recently that he sees improvements in air travel, but still expects airlines to do better.
“Look, we rely on airlines to deliver orders to passengers and to be able to service the tickets they sell,” Buttigieg said.
Global airports with the most delays in the summer
Here are the top 10 global airports for delays this summer with flight delays:
- Toronto Pearson International Airport (Canada): 52.5%
- Frankfurt Airport (Germany): 45.4%
- Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (France): 43.2%
- Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (Netherlands): 41.5%
- London Gatwick Airport (UK): 41.1%
- Heathrow Airport (UK): 40.5%
- Munich Airport (Germany): 40.4%
- Athens International Airport (Greece): 37.9%
- Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (Australia): 34.2%
- Orlando International Airport (US): 33.4%
Ranking from FlightAware data from May 26 to July 19.
The global airports with the most cancellations in the summer
Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport in China’s Guangdong province is the world’s No. 1 in terms of cancellations this summer, with nearly 8% of flights canceled, according to FlightAware data. China’s Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport also rank in the top ten.
Ongoing travel restrictions and sudden closures have severely hampered travel in China, as a strict COVID containment policy has kept the country closed to most international travel since the pandemic began.
During China’s May Day holiday, domestic flights fell by a third compared to the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Three US airports also rank in the top ten in terms of percentage of canceled scheduled flights, with New York Airport Newark and LaGuardia at No. 2 and 3 and Washington National Airport at No. 8.
Looking at the world’s top 20 airports, airports in Boston (No. 12), Charlotte (No. 13), Philadelphia (No. 14) and Miami (No. 16) have all been canceled, as well as New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (No. 15) and O’Hare International in Chicago (No. 19).
While Europe dominated the global list of delays, only one European airport – Amsterdam Schiphol – appeared in the top 10 for cancellations from May 26 to July 19. Australia and Indonesia also have one entry in the top 10 for cancellation.
Here are the top 10 global airports that were canceled this summer with the cancellation of flight rates:
- Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (China): 7.9%
- Newark Liberty International Airport (US): 7.4%
- LaGuardia Airport (US): 7%
- Toronto Pearson International Airport (Canada): 6.5%
- Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Indonesia): 6.2%
- Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (Australia): 5.9%
- Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (China): 5.2%
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (US): 5%
- Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (China): 4.6%
- Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (Netherlands): 3.9%