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Competitors of Air Canada (Competitor analysis of Air Canada)

Competitors of Air Canada (Competitor analysis of Air Canada)

This article aims to explore the main competitors of Air Canada both in the domestic and the international markets. Air Canada is the flag carrier and the largest airline in Canada. It is the market leader in the Canadian domestic market though it faces stiff competition from WestJet. Likewise, it faces stiff competition from a large number of competitors in the international markets as well.

Competitors of Air Canada in the domestic market

A good number of airlines operate in the Canadian domestic market. The competition is growing as airlines are vying hard to claim substantial market shares. The most notable and major ones are Air Canada, WestJet, Porter Airlines and Flair Airlines. According to Jackson (2020) the major competitors in the market are Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing, and Air Transat. However, it has been reported that Air Canada is planning to merge with Air Transat.

According to Mazareanu (2019) both Air Canada and WestJet together have around 80% of the Canadian airline market share in terms of the number of departing seats. Air Canada’s market share is 46%, whereas 34% for WestJet. Other notable airlines such as Porter Airlines and Flair Airlines have limited number of market shares.

WestJet’s ultra-low-cost carrier Swoop is a big challenge for Air Canada as it offers cheaper flights that attract price sensitive passengers. Flair Airlines is another discounter; however, it has limited market share. Therefore, the biggest competitor of Air Canada in the domestic market is WestJet. Apart from these airlines, there are a number of airlines that are trying to enter into the Canadian airline industry.

Competitors of Air Canada in the international markets

As Air Canada flies to over to 98 countries and regions, it faces numerous competitors. Some of top airlines in the world that go to many of the destinations where Air Canada flies to, are Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Hainan Airlines, and Qantas Airways. However, Air Canada has codeshare agreements with some big names in the industry e.g. All Nippon Airways, Lufthansa, Air New Zealand, United Airlines, Eva Air, and many more that helps it reduce some competitive pressures.

According to T4 Labs Inc. (2019) the biggest airlines based on market share in the global airline industry are Delta Airlines (5.4%), American Airlines (5.4%), Lufthansa (5.1%), and United Airlines (5.1%). Interestingly, no airline has more than 6% of the global airline market share. Air Canada is well behind its competitors in the international markets; however, it has been fusing on its global capacity by adding more and new destinations and increasing flight frequencies.

We hope the article ‘Competitors of Air Canada (Competitor analysis of Air Canada)’ has been helpful. You may also like reading SWOT analysis of Air Canada. Other relevant articles for you are:

Marketing mix of Air Canada (7Ps of Air Canada)

PESTEL analysis of Canada

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Last update: 20 October 2020


Jackson, E. (2020) Air Canada, Transat may face competition hurdles over growing winter sun travel market, available at: (accessed 18 October 2020)

Mazareanu, E. (2019) Major airlines’ domestic market share in Canada in 2018, available at: (accessed 19 October 2020)

T4 Labs Inc. (2019) Airline market share, available at: (accessed 10 October 2020)

Author: Joe David

Joe David has years of teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality, and tourism management. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management.

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