Aviation
Air Fares, Canadian Air Carriers, Level I, 2016

Release date: August 30, 2017

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Highlights

Analysis

Average air faresNote 1

The airline industry continued to see increased demand for air travel in 2016 for the seventh consecutive year following the economic slowdown of 2009. During this period, the average air fare for domestic and international travel combined (on a coupon origin-destination basis) was $227.90, down 5.4% from 2015. This marked the third consecutive annual decline following a year-over-year increase in 2013 (+0.2%). The average total air fare registered in 2016 represented the lowest level since the recession in the early 1990’s. In 2009, the year of the economic slowdown, it had reached $231.20. The decrease in 2016 was mainly the result of year-over-year declines in all quarters, with the most notable drops occurring in the first (-8.8%) and second (-7.2%) quarters.

The average domestic air fare was $167.50 in 2016, down 5.2% from $176.70 in 2015. This marked the fourth consecutive annual decline, following three consecutive yearly increases.

The average international air fare was $292.00 in 2016, down 7.1% from $314.40 in 2015.

As shown in Chart 1, the average domestic air fare has steadily declined since 2012, and fell below the average air fare registered in 2009, the year of the economic slowdown. The aggressive and competitive nature of the airline industry continues to be a factor that may explain the situation. The substantial price competition from Canadian low-cost carriers translated into limited ability for the major airlines to increase fares. Economic weakness in the western provinces, mainly in Alberta, and the decrease in fuel prices may have also translated to lower fares. Furthermore, the growth and competitiveness of Internet distribution channels continue to push air carriers to more aggressively price their products to cost-conscious travellers.

Chart 1

Data table for Chart 1
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Domestic, International and Total , calculated using dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Domestic International Total
dollars
2012 192.2 321.5 248.6
2013 190.8 322.6 249.0
2014 184.9 315.5 243.7
2015 176.7 314.4 241.0
2016 167.5 292.0 227.9

In the international sector, the average air fare fell for the third consecutive year, reaching its lowest level since 1986 ($284.20). The continued increase and intense competition amongst Canadian and foreign carriers in international markets, and the expansion of low-cost flights in select leisure destinations in the United States, as well as in other international leisure markets where demand is highly elastic and responds positively to lower prices are among the factors that may have contributed to the decrease in the international fares.

Average domestic air fares at the city level

In 2016, average domestic air fares declined in all 10 selected Canadian cities of enplanement compared to 2015. During this period, year-over-year decreases ranged from 2.6% in Regina to 8.3% in Halifax. Vancouver ($192.40) took the lead as the city with the highest average domestic air fare, edging out Toronto ($191.80) which had reported the highest fares since 1993. These two cities were followed by Winnipeg ($170.90), Montréal ($160.80) and Halifax ($160.60). Saskatoon ($144.30) posted the lowest average domestic air fare. Higher fares in Vancouver and Toronto can be partly explained by the fact that more long-haul flights—which are more expensive—leave from Vancouver International Airport and from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

As shown in Chart 2 below, Toronto was the only selected eastern Canadian city of enplanement to register an average domestic air fare above the national level ($167.50) in 2016. During the same period, Vancouver and Winnipeg were the only selected western Canadian cities of enplanement to register an average fare above the national level.

Chart 2

Data table for Chart 2
Data table for Chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 2. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), 2015 and 2016, calculated using dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year 2015 2016
dollars
Calgary 168.1 158.8
Edmonton 167.7 158.1
Halifax 175.1 160.6
Montréal 171.4 160.8
Ottawa 164.3 154.9
Regina 161.8 157.6
Saskatoon 156.2 144.3
Toronto 201.7 191.8
Vancouver 197.8 192.4
Winnipeg 182.7 170.9
Canada 176.7 167.5

For historical annual data at the city level, please refer to the CANSIM table 401-0004.

The air fare index is no longer included in this publication as of reference year 2012. However, this data series can be found in CANSIM table 329-0078.

Notes on air fares

The estimates are derived from a sample of flight coupons collected as part of the Fare Basis Survey. The estimates relate to the operations of major Canadian air carriers. For 2016, the air carriers included are the Canadian Level I carriers (Air Canada (including Air Canada Rouge beginning in July 2013), Jazz, Air Canada’s Canadian regional code-share partners, Air Transat and WestJet).

For purposes of statistical tabulations, fare codes reported by the air carriers are grouped by general fare type. These fare types are defined as follows:

The average fare is obtained by dividing the carriers' revenue by the passenger volume, as measured by coupon origin and destination.

The average domestic air fares are the average for all coupons originating in that city, for all domestic destinations. The level of average fares can be affected by changes in travel patterns, as well as prices.

Average air fares are base fares and they do not include the Goods and Services Tax, air transportation taxes or user fees such as airport fees or fuel surcharges.

Additional information on Fare Basis statistics can be obtained directly from the Aviation Statistics Centre. Tables are available in print form or in electronic format. For further information, please call (1-866-500-8400) or e-mail Client Services at STATCAN.TransportationStats-StatistiqueduTransport.STATCAN@canada.ca.

Table 1
Average fares, by sector and fare type group - Canadian air carriers, Level lTable 1 Note 1 - Scheduled services
Table summary
This table displays the results of Average fares Fare type group, Total, Business class, Economy, Discounted and Other, calculated using dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Fare type group
Total Business class Economy Discounted Other
dollars
Domestic
2012 192.20 2,474.70Note E: Use with caution 283.80 188.10 Note F: too unreliable to be published
2013 190.80 2,546.50 277.70Note E: Use with caution 189.00 135.30
2014 184.90 2,736.60 271.80 182.90 147.20
2015 176.70 2,784.50 280.00Note E: Use with caution 174.70 173.80
2016Note p: preliminary 167.50 2,901.20Note E: Use with caution 282.20Note E: Use with caution 166.10 129.60Note E: Use with caution
Short-haul
2012 145.40 1,481.70Note E: Use with caution 216.10 142.50 Note F: too unreliable to be published
2013 136.40 1,195.70Note E: Use with caution 200.40Note E: Use with caution 134.90 92.50
2014 129.10 1,354.60Note E: Use with caution 191.00 127.70 100.30
2015 118.50 Note F: too unreliable to be published 189.80Note E: Use with caution 117.10 136.90
2016Note p: preliminary 110.90 Note F: too unreliable to be published 185.70Note E: Use with caution 110.00 110.30
Long-haul
2012 233.00 2,593.80Note E: Use with caution 338.10 228.00 Note F: too unreliable to be published
2013 238.50 2,632.30 373.30Note E: Use with caution 236.00 169.10
2014 235.20 2,866.90 364.00Note E: Use with caution 232.40 188.10
2015 228.50 2,814.50 375.00Note E: Use with caution 225.90 204.40
2016Note p: preliminary 217.70 2,905.20Note E: Use with caution 376.30Note E: Use with caution 216.10 144.00Note E: Use with caution
International
2012 321.50 3,804.30 360.30 319.10 Note F: too unreliable to be published
2013 322.60 4,251.00 464.80Note E: Use with caution 320.60 202.40
2014 315.50 4,412.80Note E: Use with caution 486.10Note E: Use with caution 311.20 205.80
2015 314.40 4,798.80 Note F: too unreliable to be published 310.30 238.90
2016Note p: preliminary 292.00 5,483.30Note E: Use with caution 500.00Note E: Use with caution 289.20 113.80
Domestic and international
2012 248.60 3,480.30 306.60 245.90 Note F: too unreliable to be published
2013 249.00 3,761.40 346.50Note E: Use with caution 247.00 176.30
2014 243.70 3,978.60Note E: Use with caution 361.60Note E: Use with caution 240.70 176.00
2015 241.00 4,384.30 Note F: too unreliable to be published 238.20 188.90
2016Note p: preliminary 227.90 5,018.50Note E: Use with caution 383.10Note E: Use with caution 226.00 122.80
Table 2
Distribution of passengers, by sector and fare type group - Canadian air carriers, Level lTable 2 Note 1 - Scheduled services
Table summary
This table displays the results of Distribution of passengers Fare type group, Business class, Economy, Discounted and Other, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Fare type group
Business class Economy Discounted Other
percent
Domestic
2012 0 4.1 95.9 0Note E: Use with caution
2013 0 2.2Note E: Use with caution 97.1 0.7
2014 0 2.2 97.1 0.7
2015 0 1.7Note E: Use with caution 97.9 0.4
2016Note p: preliminary 0Note E: Use with caution 1.2Note E: Use with caution 98.0 0.8Note E: Use with caution
Short-haul
2012 0Note E: Use with caution 3.9 96.1 0Note E: Use with caution
2013 0Note E: Use with caution 2.6Note E: Use with caution 96.8 0.7
2014 0Note E: Use with caution 2.4 96.9 0.7
2015 Note F: too unreliable to be published 1.9Note E: Use with caution 97.7 0.4
2016Note p: preliminary Note F: too unreliable to be published 1.3Note E: Use with caution 98.0 0.7
Long-haul
2012 0 4.2 95.8 Note F: too unreliable to be published
2013 0 1.8Note E: Use with caution 97.4 0.7
2014 0 1.9Note E: Use with caution 97.4 0.7
2015 0 1.6Note E: Use with caution 98.0 0.4
2016Note p: preliminary 0Note E: Use with caution 1.2 98.0 0.8Note E: Use with caution
International
2012 0 2.2 97.7 0Note E: Use with caution
2013 0 1.6Note E: Use with caution 97.0 1.4
2014 0 1.9Note E: Use with caution 97.2 0.8
2015 0 1.4Note E: Use with caution 98.4 0.1
2016Note p: preliminary 0 1.1Note E: Use with caution 98.2 0.6
Domestic and international
2012 0 3.3 96.7 0Note E: Use with caution
2013 0 1.9Note E: Use with caution 97.1 1.0
2014 0 2.1Note E: Use with caution 97.2 0.7
2015 0 1.6Note E: Use with caution 98.1 0.3
2016Note p: preliminary 0 1.2Note E: Use with caution 98.1 0.7
Table 3
Distribution of passenger-kilometres, by sector and fare type group - Canadian air carriers, Level lTable 3 Note 1 - Scheduled services
Table summary
This table displays the results of Distribution of passenger-kilometres Fare type group, Business class, Economy, Discounted and Other, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Fare type group
Business class Economy Discounted Other
percent
Domestic
2012 0Note E: Use with caution 4.2 95.8 Note F: too unreliable to be published
2013 0 1.9Note E: Use with caution 97.3 0.8
2014 0 1.9 97.3 0.7
2015 0 1.6Note E: Use with caution 98.0 0.4
2016Note p: preliminary 0Note E: Use with caution 1.2 98.0 0.7Note E: Use with caution
Short-haul
2012 0Note E: Use with caution 4.4 95.6 0Note E: Use with caution
2013 Note F: too unreliable to be published 2.8Note E: Use with caution 96.5 0.7
2014 0Note E: Use with caution 2.7 96.6 0.7
2015 Note F: too unreliable to be published 2.1Note E: Use with caution 97.5 0.4
2016Note p: preliminary Note F: too unreliable to be published 1.4Note E: Use with caution 97.8 0.8
Long-haul
2012 0Note E: Use with caution 4.2 95.8 Note F: too unreliable to be published
2013 0 1.7Note E: Use with caution 97.5 0.8
2014 0 1.8Note E: Use with caution 97.5 0.7
2015 0 1.5Note E: Use with caution 98.1 0.4
2016Note p: preliminary 0Note E: Use with caution 1.2 98.1 0.7Note E: Use with caution
International
2012 0 1.5 98.5 Note F: too unreliable to be published
2013 0.1 1.2Note E: Use with caution 97.8 1.0
2014 0.1 1.4Note E: Use with caution 98.0 0.5
2015 0.1 1.0Note E: Use with caution 98.8 0.1
2016Note p: preliminary 0.1 0.8Note E: Use with caution 98.7 0.4
Domestic and international
2012 0 2.3 97.6 0Note E: Use with caution
2013 0 1.4Note E: Use with caution 97.7 0.9
2014 0.1 1.6Note E: Use with caution 97.8 0.6
2015 0 1.2Note E: Use with caution 98.6 0.2
2016Note p: preliminary 0 0.9Note E: Use with caution 98.5 0.5
Table 4
Average domestic fares for selected cities of enplanement - Canadian air carriers, Level lTable 4 Note 1 - Scheduled services
Table summary
This table displays the results of Average domestic fares for selected cities of enplanement - Canadian air carriers 2015 and 2016, calculated using dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
2015 2016Note p: preliminary
dollars
Calgary 168.10 158.80
Edmonton 167.70 158.10
Halifax 175.10 160.60
Montréal 171.40 160.80
Ottawa 164.30 154.90
Regina 161.80 157.60
Saskatoon 156.20 144.30
Toronto 201.70 191.80
Vancouver 197.80 192.40
Winnipeg 182.70 170.90
Table 5
Average fares, by sector and fare type group - Canadian air carriers, Level lTable 5 Note 1 - Scheduled services (quarterly)
Table summary
This table displays the results of Average fares Fare type group, Total, Business class, Economy, Discounted and Other, calculated using dollars and percentage change from 2015 to 2016 units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Fare type group
Total Business class Economy Discounted Other
dollars
Domestic
2015
First quarter 183.50 2,710.20 Note F: too unreliable to be published 180.30 173.60Note E: Use with caution
Second quarter 173.90 2,847.40Note E: Use with caution 272.00 172.50 164.50
Third quarter 175.70 2,893.90Note E: Use with caution 285.50Note E: Use with caution 174.10 188.30
Fourth quarter 174.40 2,763.40Note E: Use with caution 279.00Note E: Use with caution 172.50 166.90
2016Note p: preliminary
First quarter 166.40 2,834.30Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 164.90 156.60
Second quarter 164.40 Note F: too unreliable to be published 300.70 162.90 147.20
Third quarter 173.60 2,900.10Note E: Use with caution 308.30 173.00 110.40Note E: Use with caution
Fourth quarter 163.80 2,832.90Note E: Use with caution 262.30Note E: Use with caution 161.90 156.90
Short-haul
2015
First quarter 124.20 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published 122.30 142.80Note E: Use with caution
Second quarter 119.10 Note F: too unreliable to be published 190.20 118.00 128.30
Third quarter 112.30 Note F: too unreliable to be published 205.40Note E: Use with caution 110.70 151.70
Fourth quarter 119.10 Note F: too unreliable to be published 183.10Note E: Use with caution 118.00 125.90
2016Note p: preliminary
First quarter 112.10 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published 111.40 124.20
Second quarter 110.00 Note F: too unreliable to be published 188.00Note E: Use with caution 109.20 120.40
Third quarter 110.00 Note F: too unreliable to be published 208.20 109.10 97.10Note E: Use with caution
Fourth quarter 111.80 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published 110.20 121.30
Long-haul
2015
First quarter 245.70 2,730.60 Note F: too unreliable to be published 241.10 203.50Note E: Use with caution
Second quarter 222.50 2,847.40Note E: Use with caution 358.70 220.70 192.30
Third quarter 222.50 3,003.40Note E: Use with caution 365.00Note E: Use with caution 220.70 213.40
Fourth quarter 228.40 2,778.80Note E: Use with caution 380.10Note E: Use with caution 225.70 207.70
2016Note p: preliminary
First quarter 223.20 2,834.30Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 220.90 186.70
Second quarter 212.50 Note F: too unreliable to be published 394.70 210.40 172.50
Third quarter 220.30 2,925.00Note E: Use with caution 392.90 220.10 117.90Note E: Use with caution
Fourth quarter 214.70 2,832.90Note E: Use with caution 358.10Note E: Use with caution 212.30 200.30
International
2015
First quarter 306.90 4,188.30Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 300.30 228.60
Second quarter 303.40 5,010.30Note E: Use with caution 467.10Note E: Use with caution 300.20 226.90Note E: Use with caution
Third quarter 341.20 5,033.50Note E: Use with caution 463.80 339.40 310.80
Fourth quarter 303.70 5,146.20Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 297.90 214.90Note E: Use with caution
2016Note p: preliminary
First quarter 279.60 5,120.40Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 275.00 105.30
Second quarter 275.70 5,447.30Note E: Use with caution 473.60Note E: Use with caution 273.70 104.80
Third quarter 324.10 5,772.40Note E: Use with caution 507.40 322.70 127.10Note E: Use with caution
Fourth quarter 282.60 5,555.30Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 279.00 114.80Note E: Use with caution
Domestic and international
2015
First quarter 247.60 3,805.90Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 242.80 196.00Note E: Use with caution
Second quarter 233.90 4,664.70Note E: Use with caution 341.60Note E: Use with caution 231.90 176.20Note E: Use with caution
Third quarter 248.70 4,631.30Note E: Use with caution 324.30 247.50 205.90
Fourth quarter 232.20 4,664.50Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 228.50 175.50
2016Note p: preliminary
First quarter 225.70 4,712.00Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 222.50 127.80
Second quarter 217.10 4,916.50Note E: Use with caution 373.30Note E: Use with caution 215.40 125.30
Third quarter 244.30 5,460.70Note E: Use with caution 369.70 243.80 115.10Note E: Use with caution
Fourth quarter 220.70 4,942.10Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 217.90 132.90Note E: Use with caution
   percentage change from 2015 to 2016
Domestic
First quarter -9.3 4.6 Note F: too unreliable to be published -8.5 -9.8
Second quarter -5.5 Note F: too unreliable to be published 10.6 -5.6 -10.5
Third quarter -1.2 0.2 8.0 -0.6 -41.4
Fourth quarter -6.1 2.5 -6.0 -6.1 -6.0
Short-haul
First quarter -9.7 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published -8.9 -13.0
Second quarter -7.6 Note F: too unreliable to be published -1.2 -7.5 -6.2
Third quarter -2.0 Note F: too unreliable to be published 1.4 -1.4 -36.0
Fourth quarter -6.1 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published -6.6 -3.7
Long-haul
First quarter -9.2 3.8 Note F: too unreliable to be published -8.4 -8.3
Second quarter -4.5 Note F: too unreliable to be published 10.0 -4.7 -10.3
Third quarter -1.0 -2.6 7.6 -0.3 -44.8
Fourth quarter -6.0 1.9 -5.8 -5.9 -3.5
International
First quarter -8.9 22.3 Note F: too unreliable to be published -8.4 -53.9
Second quarter -9.1 8.7 1.4 -8.8 -53.8
Third quarter -5.0 14.7 9.4 -4.9 -59.1
Fourth quarter -6.9 7.9 Note F: too unreliable to be published -6.3 -46.6
Domestic and international
First quarter -8.8 23.8 Note F: too unreliable to be published -8.4 -34.8
Second quarter -7.2 5.4 9.3 -7.1 -28.9
Third quarter -1.8 17.9 14.0 -1.5 -44.1
Fourth quarter -5.0 6.0 Note F: too unreliable to be published -4.6 -24.3
Table 6
Discount fare traffic, by sector - Canadian air carriers, Level lTable 6 Note 1 - Scheduled services (quarterly)
Table summary
This table displays the results of Discount fare traffic Passengers, Passenger-kilometres, 2015 and 2016, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Passengers Passenger-kilometres
2015 2016Note p: preliminary 2015 2016Note p: preliminary
percent
Domestic
First quarter 96.8 98.1 96.9 98.1
Second quarter 98.2 98.5 98.3 98.5
Third quarter 98.3 97.6 98.4 97.7
Fourth quarter 97.9 97.9 98.0 98.1
Short-haul
First quarter 96.8 98.3 96.4 98.1
Second quarter 98.2 98.5 97.9 98.4
Third quarter 98.1 97.7 97.9 97.4
Fourth quarter 97.9 97.6 97.6 97.3
Long-haul
First quarter 96.8 98.0 97.0 98.1
Second quarter 98.3 98.5 98.4 98.5
Third quarter 98.5 97.5 98.5 97.8
Fourth quarter 98.0 98.1 98.1 98.2
International
First quarter 97.2 97.7 97.8 98.1
Second quarter 99.0 98.6 99.3 99.0
Third quarter 99.4 98.8 99.6 99.3
Fourth quarter 97.9 97.6 98.4 98.2
Domestic and international
First quarter 97.0 97.9 97.5 98.1
Second quarter 98.6 98.5 99.0 98.8
Third quarter 98.8 98.2 99.3 98.8
Fourth quarter 97.9 97.8 98.2 98.2
Table 7
Average domestic fares for selected cities of enplanement - Canadian air carriers, Level lTable 7 Note 1 - Scheduled services (quarterly)
Table summary
This table displays the results of Average domestic fares for selected cities of enplanement - Canadian air carriers Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montréal, Ottawa, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg, calculated using dollars and percent change from 2015 to 2016 units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Calgary Edmonton Halifax Montréal Ottawa Regina Saskatoon Toronto Vancouver Winnipeg
dollars
2015
First quarter 171.10 168.40 192.10 176.30 172.60 162.20 159.60 215.10 201.20 193.00
Second quarter 163.80 165.80 170.20 170.60 165.70 160.20 157.00 197.40 194.80 180.80
Third quarter 171.40 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 176.20 167.40 158.90 160.30 156.50 196.60 199.90 175.70
Fourth quarter 165.80 169.90 164.50 172.70 161.60 164.60 151.50 200.70 195.00 184.10
2016Note p: preliminary
First quarter 154.40 154.80 162.40 163.60 156.80 148.60 137.20 195.40 191.20 173.50
Second quarter 150.60 154.40 153.80 162.80 156.20 152.10 139.00 190.10 189.30 167.40
Third quarter 170.70 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 171.60 159.00 156.10 165.40 151.70 192.60 202.70 165.80
Fourth quarter 156.70 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 151.90 158.50 150.50 162.10 147.50 189.50 183.50 178.20
     percent change from 2015 to 2016
First quarter -9.8 -8.1 -15.5 -7.2 -9.2 -8.4 -14.0 -9.2 -5.0 -10.1
Second quarter -8.1 -6.9 -9.6 -4.6 -5.7 -5.1 -11.5 -3.7 -2.8 -7.4
Third quarter -0.4 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act -2.6 -5.0 -1.8 3.2 -3.1 -2.0 1.4 -5.6
Fourth quarter -5.5 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act -7.7 -8.2 -6.9 -1.5 -2.6 -5.6 -5.9 -3.2
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