Aviation
Air Fares, Canadian Air Carriers, Level I, 2017

Release date: August 29, 2018

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Highlights

Analysis

Average base air faresNote 1

The airline industry continued to see increased demand for air travel in 2017 for the eighth consecutive year following the economic slowdown of 2009. During this period, base air fares in Canada for domestic and international travel combined (on a coupon origin-destination basis) averaged $232.50, up 2.0% from 2016, reversing the downward trend of the previous three years. This increase was a result of year-over-year advances in the last three quarters, with the most notable growth occurring in the second quarter (+6.3%).

The average domestic base fare edged up 0.5% from the previous year to $168.30, reversing the downward trend of the previous four years.

Following three consecutive years of annual declines, the average international base fare rose 2.5% to $299.10, mainly driven by growth in the second quarter (+8.5%).

As shown in Chart 1, the average domestic air fare has steadily declined since 2013 before increasing in 2017; however, it remained below the average fare registered in 2009, the year of the economic slowdown. Though the airline industry continues to be aggressive and competitive in nature, the economic growth in Canada in 2017 and higher jet fuel prices may have translated to higher fares.

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 Domestic, International and Total , calculated using dollar units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Domestic International Total
dollar
2013 190.80 322.60 249.00
2014 184.90 315.50 243.70
2015 176.70 314.40 241.00
2016 167.50 291.90 227.90
2017 168.30 299.10 232.50

In the international sector, the average air fare rose for the first time since 2013 and experienced the largest increase since 2008. Though there was a 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, the growth in international traffic, the boost in the economy and the increase of jet fuel prices are amongst the factors that may have contributed to the growth in the international fares.

Average domestic base air fares at the city level

In 2017, of the 10 selected Canadian cities where passengers boarded the plane, Saskatoon (+4.0%), Ottawa (+3.7%) and Calgary (+2.6%) recorded the largest increases in average domestic air fares, while Halifax (-1.1%) and Winnipeg (-0.8%) posted the largest declines. Vancouver ($193.40) remained the city with the highest average domestic air fare, followed by Toronto ($193.20) and Winnipeg ($169.50). Saskatoon ($150.10) continued to post the lowest average domestic air fare since 2014. 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 ($168.30) in 2017. 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 2016 and 2017 (appearing as column headers).
2016 2017
Canada 167.50 168.30
Winnipeg 170.90 169.50
Vancouver 192.30 193.40
Toronto 192.10 193.20
Saskatoon 144.30 150.10
Regina 157.60 159.00
Ottawa 154.90 160.60
Montreal 161.60 160.90
Halifax 160.60 158.90
Edmonton 158.10 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
Calgary 158.80 162.90

For historical annual data at the city level, please refer to Table 23-10-0238-01 (formerly: CANSIM 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 Table 18-10-0033-01 (formerly: CANSIM 329-0078).

Note to user

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 2017, 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:

  • First class: The transportation of a passenger or passengers for whom premium-quality services (e.g. larger seats, complimentary bar) are provided.
  • Business class: A fare level which is less expensive than first class and more expensive than the basic fare level. It includes different amenities (e.g. larger seats, advanced seat assignment).
  • Economy: A basic fare level which is less expensive than first class but does not include the amenities (e.g. larger seats, complimentary bar) of the first class fare.
  • Discount: A reduced fare usually subject to one or more travel restrictions, the price of which is usually calculated as a percentage reduction from the normal full fare. It includes various discount fares such as charter class, seat sales, advance purchase excursion and group.
  • Other: Represents industry and agency discount fares, military as well as unknown fare codes.

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.

End of text box

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
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
2016 167.50 2,901.20Note E: Use with caution 282.20Note E: Use with caution 166.00 156.30
2017Note p: preliminary 168.30 Note F: too unreliable to be published 297.70 166.40 154.00
Short-haul
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
2016 111.00 Note F: too unreliable to be published 185.70Note E: Use with caution 110.00 125.60
2017Note p: preliminary 114.20 Note F: too unreliable to be published 201.90 112.70 128.10
Long-haul
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
2016 217.70 2,905.20Note E: Use with caution 376.30Note E: Use with caution 215.60 186.00
2017Note p: preliminary 216.50 Note F: too unreliable to be published 398.90Note E: Use with caution 214.10 178.50
International
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
2016 291.90 5,483.30Note E: Use with caution 500.00Note E: Use with caution 289.00 113.20
2017Note p: preliminary 299.10 5,860.60Note E: Use with caution 544.70 295.60 140.60
Domestic and international
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
2016 227.90 5,018.50Note E: Use with caution 383.10Note E: Use with caution 225.80 133.60
2017Note p: preliminary 232.50 5,418.30Note E: Use with caution 399.30 230.10 148.80
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
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
2016 0Note E: Use with caution 1.2Note E: Use with caution 98.3 0.5
2017Note p: preliminary 0Note E: Use with caution 1.4 98.0 0.6
Short-haul
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
2016 Note F: too unreliable to be published 1.3Note E: Use with caution 98.2 0.5
2017Note p: preliminary 0Note E: Use with caution 1.5 97.9 0.6
Long-haul
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
2016 0Note E: Use with caution 1.2 98.3 0.5
2017Note p: preliminary 0Note E: Use with caution 1.3 98.1 0.6
International
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
2016 0 1.1Note E: Use with caution 98.3 0.6
2017Note p: preliminary 0 1.0 98.6 0.4
Domestic and international
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
2016 0 1.2Note E: Use with caution 98.3 0.5
2017Note p: preliminary 0 1.2 98.3 0.5
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
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
2016 0Note E: Use with caution 1.2 98.3 0.4
2017Note p: preliminary 0Note E: Use with caution 1.3 98.1 0.6
Short-haul
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
2016 Note F: too unreliable to be published 1.4Note E: Use with caution 98.0 0.6
2017Note p: preliminary 0Note E: Use with caution 1.7 97.6 0.7
Long-haul
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
2016 0Note E: Use with caution 1.2 98.4 0.4
2017Note p: preliminary 0Note E: Use with caution 1.2 98.2 0.5
International
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
2016 0.1 0.8Note E: Use with caution 98.7 0.4
2017Note p: preliminary 0.1 0.7 99.0 0.3
Domestic and international
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
2016 0 0.9Note E: Use with caution 98.6 0.4
2017Note p: preliminary 0 0.9 98.7 0.3
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 2016 and 2017, calculated using dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
2016 2017Note p: preliminary
dollars
Calgary 158.80 162.90
Edmonton 158.10 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
Halifax 160.60 158.90
Montréal 161.60 160.90
Ottawa 154.90 160.60
Regina 157.60 159.00
Saskatoon 144.30 150.10
Toronto 192.10 193.20
Vancouver 192.30 193.40
Winnipeg 170.90 169.50
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 2016 to 2017 units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Fare type group
Total Business class Economy Discounted Other
dollars
Domestic
2016
First quarter 166.60 2,834.30Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 165.10 150.00
Second quarter 164.50 Note F: too unreliable to be published 300.70 163.00 139.50
Third quarter 173.60 2,900.10Note E: Use with caution 308.30 172.10 175.60
Fourth quarter 163.90 2,832.90Note E: Use with caution 262.30Note E: Use with caution 162.00 156.90
2017Note p: preliminary
First quarter 163.50 Note F: too unreliable to be published 267.20Note E: Use with caution 161.70 158.50
Second quarter 167.70 2,810.50Note E: Use with caution 312.50Note E: Use with caution 165.60 157.80
Third quarter 171.40 Note F: too unreliable to be published 327.40 169.70 156.70
Fourth quarter 169.30 Note F: too unreliable to be published 286.90Note E: Use with caution 167.40 144.80
Short-haul
2016
First quarter 112.20 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published 111.60 117.40
Second quarter 110.10 Note F: too unreliable to be published 188.00Note E: Use with caution 109.30 108.40
Third quarter 110.10 Note F: too unreliable to be published 208.20 108.80 152.70
Fourth quarter 111.80 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published 110.30 121.30
2017Note p: preliminary
First quarter 111.30 Note F: too unreliable to be published 183.90Note E: Use with caution 109.90 129.60
Second quarter 115.00 2,193.60Note E: Use with caution 211.70Note E: Use with caution 113.40 126.90
Third quarter 112.10 Note F: too unreliable to be published 221.00 110.70 125.80
Fourth quarter 118.20 Note F: too unreliable to be published 196.50Note E: Use with caution 116.70 130.00
Long-haul
2016
First quarter 223.20 2,834.30Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 221.00 180.20
Second quarter 212.50 Note F: too unreliable to be published 394.70 210.40 168.50
Third quarter 220.30 2,925.00Note E: Use with caution 392.90 218.60 194.80
Fourth quarter 214.80 2,832.90Note E: Use with caution 358.10Note E: Use with caution 212.40 200.30
2017Note p: preliminary
First quarter 219.40 Note F: too unreliable to be published 370.10Note E: Use with caution 217.10 192.40
Second quarter 213.70 2,861.90Note E: Use with caution 419.60Note E: Use with caution 211.00 184.70
Third quarter 215.00 Note F: too unreliable to be published 414.40 212.90 180.70
Fourth quarter 219.50 Note F: too unreliable to be published 388.70Note E: Use with caution 216.90 160.70
International
2016
First quarter 279.90 5,120.40Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 275.30 103.50
Second quarter 275.40 5,447.30Note E: Use with caution 473.60Note E: Use with caution 273.40 103.20
Third quarter 323.70 5,772.40Note E: Use with caution 507.40 321.90 135.30
Fourth quarter 282.40 5,555.30Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 278.80 114.80Note E: Use with caution
2017Note p: preliminary
First quarter 278.80 Note F: too unreliable to be published 539.80Note E: Use with caution 273.60 131.60Note E: Use with caution
Second quarter 298.90 5,655.40Note E: Use with caution 533.30Note E: Use with caution 295.60 146.80
Third quarter 326.40 Note F: too unreliable to be published 571.10 324.60 142.20
Fourth quarter 287.90 Note F: too unreliable to be published 550.70Note E: Use with caution 283.90 144.60
Domestic and international
2016
First quarter 226.00 4,712.00Note E: Use with caution Note F: too unreliable to be published 222.80 123.60
Second quarter 217.10 4,916.50Note E: Use with caution 373.30Note E: Use with caution 215.40 120.60
Third quarter 244.20 5,460.70Note E: Use with caution 369.70 242.80 157.90
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
2017Note p: preliminary
First quarter 224.40 Note F: too unreliable to be published 418.50Note E: Use with caution 220.70 145.60Note E: Use with caution
Second quarter 230.70 5,275.70Note E: Use with caution 392.20Note E: Use with caution 228.30 154.30
Third quarter 245.10 Note F: too unreliable to be published 389.30 243.70 151.60
Fourth quarter 227.10 Note F: too unreliable to be published 388.90Note E: Use with caution 224.30 144.70
   percentage change from 2016 to 2017
Domestic
First quarter -1.9 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published -2.1 5.7
Second quarter 1.9 Note F: too unreliable to be published 3.9 1.6 13.1
Third quarter -1.3 Note F: too unreliable to be published 6.2 -1.4 -10.8
Fourth quarter 3.3 Note F: too unreliable to be published 9.4 3.3 -7.7
Short-haul
First quarter -0.8 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published -1.5 10.4
Second quarter 4.5 Note F: too unreliable to be published 12.6 3.8 17.1
Third quarter 1.8 Note F: too unreliable to be published 6.1 1.7 -17.6
Fourth quarter 5.7 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published 5.8 7.2
Long-haul
First quarter -1.7 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published -1.8 6.8
Second quarter 0.6 Note F: too unreliable to be published 6.3 0.3 9.6
Third quarter -2.4 Note F: too unreliable to be published 5.5 -2.6 -7.2
Fourth quarter 2.2 Note F: too unreliable to be published 8.5 2.1 -19.8
International
First quarter -0.4 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published -0.6 27.1
Second quarter 8.5 3.8 12.6 8.1 42.2
Third quarter 0.8 Note F: too unreliable to be published 12.6 0.8 5.1
Fourth quarter 1.9 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published 1.8 26.0
Domestic and international
First quarter -0.7 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published -0.9 17.8
Second quarter 6.3 7.3 5.1 6.0 27.9
Third quarter 0.4 Note F: too unreliable to be published 5.3 0.4 -4.0
Fourth quarter 2.9 Note F: too unreliable to be published Note F: too unreliable to be published 2.9 8.9
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, 2016 and 2017, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Passengers Passenger-kilometres
2016 2017Note p: preliminary 2016 2017Note p: preliminary
percent
Domestic
First quarter 98.1 97.8 98.1 98.0
Second quarter 98.5 98.1 98.5 98.2
Third quarter 98.5 98.3 98.6 98.4
Fourth quarter 97.9 97.7 98.1 97.8
Short-haul
First quarter 98.3 97.7 98.1 97.4
Second quarter 98.5 97.9 98.4 97.7
Third quarter 98.4 98.2 98.2 98.0
Fourth quarter 97.6 97.5 97.3 97.2
Long-haul
First quarter 98.0 98.0 98.1 98.1
Second quarter 98.5 98.2 98.5 98.3
Third quarter 98.6 98.4 98.6 98.4
Fourth quarter 98.1 97.8 98.2 97.9
International
First quarter 97.7 97.7 98.1 98.2
Second quarter 98.6 98.8 99.0 99.2
Third quarter 99.1 99.2 99.4 99.5
Fourth quarter 97.6 98.4 98.2 98.8
Domestic and international
First quarter 97.9 97.8 98.1 98.1
Second quarter 98.5 98.4 98.8 98.9
Third quarter 98.8 98.7 99.2 99.2
Fourth quarter 97.8 98.0 98.2 98.5
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 2016 to 2017 units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Calgary Edmonton Halifax Montréal Ottawa Regina Saskatoon Toronto Vancouver Winnipeg
dollars
2016
First quarter 154.40 154.80 162.40 163.60 156.80 148.60 137.20 195.40 191.20 173.50
Second quarter 150.60 154.40 153.80 163.60 156.20 152.10 139.00 190.30 189.20 167.40
Third quarter 170.50 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 171.60 159.70 156.10 165.40 151.70 192.90 202.50 165.80
Fourth quarter 156.60 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 151.90 159.20 150.50 162.10 147.50 189.80 183.50 178.20
2017Note p: preliminary
First quarter 154.70 148.20 153.20 158.60 145.40 148.00 135.30 193.60 189.10 170.90
Second quarter 161.70 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 152.70 160.70 160.80 164.70 151.50 191.40 194.50 169.20
Third quarter 169.30 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 169.70 158.30 164.60 162.20 160.00 192.20 196.90 167.00
Fourth quarter 163.80 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 156.00 166.20 169.40 159.00 150.20 196.10 191.80 171.70
     percent change from 2016 to 2017
First quarter 0.2 -4.3 -5.7 -3.1 -7.3 -0.4 -1.4 -0.9 -1.1 -1.5
Second quarter 7.4 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act -0.7 -1.8 2.9 8.3 9.0 0.6 2.8 1.1
Third quarter -0.7 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act -1.1 -0.9 5.4 -1.9 5.5 -0.4 -2.8 0.7
Fourth quarter 4.6 Note x: suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act 2.7 4.4 12.6 -1.9 1.8 3.3 4.5 -3.6
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