TORONTO - Massive delays caused by labour disruptions at Toronto's Pearson International Airport seemed to clear up Saturday, a day after the federal government waded into the dispute.
Travellers flying through Canada's busiest airport found lineups moving normally for a holiday weekend, but officials were quick to caution the situation could change during the weekend.
"It's too early to assess whether or not passenger volumes are lower, or whether the labour disruptions are over," said Mathieu Larocque, a spokesman for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.
"I think it's safe to say that the situation has improved from yesterday (Friday)," he said.
The agency will be keeping a close watch on airport operations in the coming days, he said, even as mediation over the protest is set to begin.
Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt appointed a mediator on Friday to help the parties resolve their dispute, which centres on shift scheduling.
A work-to-rule protest by security screeners had caused long lineups and delays at Terminal 1 for two straight days, disrupting domestic and U.S. flights just as hordes of Canadians prepared to travel for the long Thanksgiving weekend.
Their employer, Garda Security, is a private company contracted by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.
The company won an injunction on Thursday that bars workers from slowing down on the job, but there were long lineups again Friday.
Some travellers missed their flights and had to rebook, adding hundreds of dollars to the cost of their trip.
"I think it's safe to say that the situation has improved from yesterday," Larocque said Saturday.
"However, we're still seeing some congestion at some checkpoints," and it could get worse as the volume of travellers increases, he said.
Scott Armstrong, a spokesman for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, said things were "close to normal," but advised travellers to check the status of their flight before heading to the airport.