Fewer delays expected at Pearson as weather improves, over 10 flights cancelled so far

There will likely be fewer flight delays and cancellations at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Sunday because the weather has improved, according to Nav Canada, which operates Canada's air navigation service.

Airport, however, is still warning travellers that labour disruptions could affect flights on Sunday

Baggage handlers are seen removing baggage from a WestJet aircraft on Friday, July, 28, 2017. Ground crew workers at Pearson airport are on strike after they rejected a contract offer from Swissport. The airport is warning travellers on Sunday that the labour dispute could affect flights. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press)

Toronto's Pearson International Airport is reporting fewer flight delays and cancellations on Sunday, as compared to the number on Saturday, because the weather has improved, an official says.

"It's better today. Obviously, the weather is better,"  said Jonathan Bagg, spokesperson for NAV Canada, which owns and operates Canada's civil air navigation service.

Bagg said in a telephone interview from Ottawa that a ground delay program was implemented on Saturday to deal with flight delays and cancellations due to thunderstorms.

The program, which is implemented on an as needed basis, is a traffic management procedure where flights are delayed at their departure airport to manage demand and capacity at their arrival airport.

"We aren't anticipating that the ground delay program will have to be implemented today," he said.

Meanwhile in a tweet, Pearson airport itself is warning travellers that labour disruptions could affect some flights on Sunday.

More than 10 flights were cancelled as of early Sunday.

On Saturday, however, the number was much higher. More than 80 flights were cancelled by Saturday evening due to the weather and reduced staffing of air traffic controllers.

Bagg said the flights mainly affected on Saturday were headed to Montreal and Newark, N.J., from Toronto.

Meanwhile, a strike by more than 700 unionized ground crew workers employed by Swissport Canada at Pearson continues. The strike began after the workers voted to reject a contract deal from Swissport.

Members of Teamsters Local 419 handle baggage and cargo, clean cabins, tow planes and perform flight operations tasks for more than 30 airlines, including British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, Sunwing, and Air Transat.