Ottawa, ON, January 10, 2024 – Canada’s airlines are welcoming new data provided by Transport Canada which demonstrates notable success in reuniting large volumes of family and friends safely and on time during the 2023 holiday travel season.

Data from Transport Canada during the week of December 25th to December 31st, 2023 confirmed that over 1.2 million Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast took to the skies during the 2023 holiday travel season, putting air passenger traffic higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

“Canada’s airlines have worked diligently to ensure a safe and efficient travel experience for the millions of passengers who rely on air travel to connect and reunite with family and loved ones,” said Jeff Morrison, President of the National Airlines Council of Canada.  “Thanks to the joint readiness efforts of Canada’s airlines, aviation ecosystem partners, and all those on duty who kept the system running smoothly and safely, Canadians were able to experience a reliable travel experience over the recent holiday season.”

At Canada’s top eight airports, nearly 90 per cent of flights departed within an hour of the scheduled departure time, compared to 70.1 per cent in 2022; a year with unprecedented inclement weather conditions across North America.  Just 1.4 percent of total flights were cancelled during the holiday travel period, making 2023 the best air travel performance during a holiday period since pre-pandemic in 2019.

“Airlines and all the entities in the air travel ecosystem have put considerable work into improving communication with travelers and resolving issues stemming from the unprecedented weather activity during the 2022 holiday period,” said Morrison.  “We are pleased to see this reversal compared to last year, bringing us much closer to, and in some cases besting, pre-pandemic travel,” said Morrison.

Canada’s airlines noted that it is important that this progress continue unimpeded given the importance of a strong aviation sector to Canada’s overall economic recovery.  “Canada’s airlines will continue to help drive a world class aviation system; connecting people with each other, and Canada with the world, in order to keep our economy going,” Morrison concluded.

About the National Airlines Council of Canada:

The National Airlines Council of Canada represents Canada’s largest national and international passenger air carriers:  Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet.  It promotes safe, sustainable, accessible and competitive air travel by advocating for the development of policies, regulations and legislation to foster a world-class transportation system.

For media requests, please contact:  Josie Sabatino,; 250-649-6856