Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
Between 50 000 and 60 000 people are expected at the Trudeau international airport in Montreal.
Canadians who are travelling during the Holidays should prepare for crowds and delays, because the major airports in the country will be waterlogged traveller and the highways crowded with motorists.
The Air carriers, Air Canada and WestJet have already hosted, respectively, by 7.9% and 9.7 % more passengers during the first nine months of the year. The Christmas season of 2017, therefore, could bring down several records, according to the analyst Robert Kokonis, of the firm AirTrav.
“It bodes well for the rest of the year and, I believe, for Christmas, and the winter of 2018,” he wrote in an email.
The Pearson international airport in Toronto, expects 2.7 million passengers between 17 December and 7 January, compared to only 1.9 million in the last year, when the number of days very busy had been less high.
Between 50 000 and 60 000 people are expected at the Trudeau international airport in Montreal, and about a million of them for the Holiday season.
Ridership is up about 10 % this year, partly because airlines have added new direct flights, particularly to international destinations.
“We will know a good growth of passenger traffic this year and we welcome our 18 millionth passenger,” said the spokesperson Anne-Sophie Hamel.
The leaders of the airports of Vancouver and Calgary expect them also to break records in 2017.
“We believe that our busiest time will be immediately after the end of classes and the week after Christmas,” said the spokesperson for the Vancouver airport, Andrea Pham.
The president of the Canadian airports Council, Daniel-Robert Gooch, believes than a year robust will close in strength, because the traffic of the airports is higher than the growth of the economy.
“This is very good news for the air transport industry and the local economies and tourism “, he said.
Air Canada and WestJet expect two more passengers during peak periods, but they refuse to give any figures. WestJet, however, planning to beat the mark established last year, when 74 000 people were transported to Christmas eve.
The airlines recommend that passengers check-in online or on an app, to pay their baggage fees in advance, to check if their flight is on time, arriving at the airport in advance and bring all the necessary papers.
The roads will also be busy. An increased number of vehicles and snow will test the nerves of motorists in the event, and they will take their troubles patiently to cross the border with the United States.
“The best advice is to simply understand that everything is going to go more slowly and it’s going to be more busy than usual, so plan more time,” said a spokesman for the CAA, Ian Jack.
Even the trips to the United States could be in slow motion, as the american Association of the automobile provides a new record with 107.3 million of people on the roads and in the air.
The canadian agency responsible for the security in the airports will deploy more staff to meet demand, especially during peak periods.
“If it is very busy, passengers should arrive early as the queues can be long “, warned the spokesman of the Administration canadian air transport security authority (CATSA), Mathieu Larocque.
Travelers can shorten the time by asking about what they can and cannot have in their possession, especially in their hand luggage.
Passengers can communicate with CATSA on Twitter and on Facebook, and even send him pictures, to avoid unpleasant surprises at the airport.
Gifts should not be packaged to facilitate inspection. Some airports offer packaging services on the other side of the safety positions.