In Ontario, Hamilton-Niagara residents have long had a soft spot for Buffalo Airport in the United States due to its close proximity and diverse prices – and a new survey supports that notion.
Over half (55 per cent) of residents surveyed from the Hamilton-Niagara area say that considering the potential for cost savings and spending less time at the airport, they are likely to consider flying from Buffalo Airport (BUF) in Cheektowaga, roughly a 25-minute drive from the Peace Bridge, which connects Buffalo, NY to Fort Erie, ON.
In the Greater Toronto Area, 35 per cent said the same about the U.S. border airport, the survey says.
“The survey findings are in line with BUF’s projection of over one million Canadians flying from Buffalo Airport this year. Once you arrive at the airport, your average time to your departure gate is 12 minutes, which isn’t a reality in Toronto where long wait times are the norm,” said Pascal Cohen, senior marketing manager at Buffalo Airport, in a press release.
“Thirty-five per cent of originating passengers at Buffalo Airport are Canadians, representing a substantial portion of our clientele. This translates to an impressive one million Canadians choosing Buffalo Airport for their flights.”
The survey was commissioned by Buffalo Airport and conducted by Leger from Jan 12-14, 2024. It engaged 562 residents aged 18 and older in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton/Niagara areas.
Buffalo Airport has 75 daily non-stop flights, with 16.5 flights daily to and from New York, and 6.5 flights daily to and from Orlando.
Looking ahead, the airport plans to introduce daily flights to Phoenix, and Nashville commencing in April.
Poised for a resurgence, Buffalo Airport aims to return to passenger numbers reminiscent of 2019 by spring 2024.
“Southern Ontarians have to bear some of the highest travel costs in the country, and we are here to offer an alternative for them to save on their vacation by flying from across the border and receiving a seamless travel experience,” Cohen added.
For example: opting for a domestic flight within the U.S. eliminates the need for Customs and Immigration stops, and international taxes and fees.
The airport says it also provides real-time updates on its website regarding traffic situations – “a crucial feature compared to longer waiting times at Pearson International Airport.”
“We are providing Canadians with even more choice, flexibility and convenience along with the peace of mind of flying from an airport that is easy to reach and travel to their favorite destinations,” Cohen stated.