There are many factors driving this growth. Airlines are investing in larger, more fuel-efficient aircraft, which means they can carry larger numbers of passengers at a lower cost – and with reduced environmental impact. The resulting competitive fares make it possible for more people to fly more often and travel greater distances. But these are simply enablers of a more fundamental upsurge in demand. Canadians, whether pursuing business opportunities or simply eager to explore abroad, want convenient, affordable air connections to every corner of the globe. And our neighbours on other continents – particularly those in emerging economies – want to see what the rest of the world, including Canada, has to offer.
Driving economic growth
This exponential growth in two-way air traffic reflects Canada’s increasing connectedness to the global economy. Between 2013 and 2017, Toronto Pearson’s passenger volumes grew at more than triple the rate of national GDP – faster than any other Canadian airport. Our average annual traffic growth in the same time frame, at 5.5 per cent, was the strongest of all global mega hubs.
This trend will continue as the focus of Canada’s economy continues to shift from resources and manufacturing to services. When innovative companies venture into overseas markets, it boosts prosperity at home, which in turn motivates more Canadians to travel abroad. At the same time, economic growth in Asia and elsewhere enables more international travellers to visit Canada – and through our gateway airport, all of North America.
Over the next 20 years, we project that Toronto Pearson will see twice the growth in traffic that we’ve experienced in the past two decades, reaching 85 million passengers annually. This requires a systematic and responsible growth strategy coordinated among all stakeholders, as outlined in the 2017–2037 Master Plan we presented last year to the federal Minister of Transport. The economic benefits for our region, our province and all of Canada make it a worthy challenge.
42% of visits with economic impact
2018 Passenger Growth
|Volume in millions||Increase over 2017|
|Origin and destination||35.0||