Airlines market share in Canada
Canada’s air carrier market is dominated by the duopoly of Air Canada and low-cost airline WestJet , but other regional and charter operators, like Porter Airlines, serve some small segments of the market. Air Canada is the national flag carrier serving the busiest Canadian hubs Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport. With 21,100 employees, the airline generated only 4.3 million Canadian dollars from its passenger transportation service in 2020, a 75 percent decrease compared with the previous year.
The Calgary-based airline, WestJet started as a low-cost airline in 1996 and by 2020, the company carried passengers to over 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. In 2019, the airline generated operating revenue of over 3.8 billion Canadian dollars from transporting passengers on more than 46.5 billion miles.
Given the year-on-year growth of low cost carriers in the Canadian market in recent years, there are favorable circumstances but also great challenges for a new player to compete against the abiding duopoly between Air Canada and WestJet. NewLeaf was Canada’s new ultra-low cost carrier (ULLC), supposed to be commencing operations with its first Hamilton-Moncton flight on July 25, 2016 but encountered difficulties getting a licence from the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). The airline was based at Winnipeg James Richardson International Airport and sold tickets for multiple domestic and international flights operated by the charter airline Flair Airlines.
Another contender for the ultra-low fare battle is Canada Jetlines. The Canadian ultra-low cost airline is headquartered in Vancouver and was expected to begin operations on December 17, 2019 with flights throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.