Complete Guide To Canadian Airlines and the Destinations they Fly

Complete Guide To Canadian Airlines and the Destinations they Fly

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Last updated at 6 hours ago

Canadians have been left out in the cold when it comes to flight availability, cheap tickets, and long-distance routes. We have had to pay higher prices for less exciting destinations, while our neighbor to the south has the most amazing flight connection. There are more airlines, flight routes, and direct international destinations now than ever before.

Canadian, it is time to travel. With the addition of many low-cost airlines to Canada’s sky, all the airlines have had to pull up their socks and give the best offerings.

Canada now flies to more cities than ever before, and there are great deals to be had.

What are the new airlines in Canada this year? Where are they going? What are prices for? What about the items in the bags?

The Canadian airline guide is about to go over.

  • ALL the major airlines operating in Canada, with info on the new ultra-low-cost airlines like Lynx, Swoop, and Jetlines
  • Every city they fly to
  • What some unique routes are for each airline
  • What sets them apart from the others, pros and cons
  • Info on seats and bags
  • Everything else you need to know about these Canadian airlines

Air Canada

Air Canada is the largest airline in Canada and has the most destinations served. With its position in the Star Alliance, Air Canada has the ability to connect to almost any corner of the planet. Eastern Canadians like Air Canada’s base out of Montreal.

air canada planes at airport

There are pros and pros.

  • Huge selection of destinations and routes
  • On average, more seat width, leg room, and baggage allowance than other Canadian airlines
  • The ability to earn and use popular Aeroplan points for flights
  • Multiple planes that feature business class, including lay-flat ‘pod’ type seats
  • Great network of lounges worldwide

There are pros and cons to this.

  • Can be one of the most expensive airlines to book on (although good deals can always be found)
  • Some people feel the brand and the vibe is a little old school when compared to the other airlines

Where does Air Canada fly DIRECT?

There are a lot of cities that Air Canada flies to that can be reached with a direct non-stop flight.

The country of Canada.

British Columbia, Victoria, Kelowna, Kamloops, Castlegar, Cranbrook, Prince George, Terrace, Smithers, Fort St. John, and so on.

The U.S. is where it is located.

Alaska, Arizona, Phoenix, California, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, Colorado and Connecticut are all states.

Mexico is located in the country of Mexico.

San Jose Del Cabo is in the state of Mexico.

Central America and Caribbean.

Cuba, Havana, Varadero, Santa Clara, Cayo Coco, Holguin, Costa Rica, San Jose, Samana, and Haiti are all located in the Dominican Republic. The island of MaartenSt. is named after it. The state of KittsSt. The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain, Turks and Caicos and Providenciales are all part of the Caribbean.

There is a country in South America.

The countries that are part of it are Argentina, Buenos Aires, Brazil, Sao Paulo, Columbia, Bogota, and Santiago.

It’s Europe.

France, Lyon, Paris, Nice, Germany, Frankfurt, Athens, Reykjavik, Ireland, Dublin, Italy, Milan, Rome, Venice, Netherlands, and Barcelona are all included.

There are people in Africa.

The Middle East and Asia are vast.

Isreal is located in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Cairo, India, Mumbai, Delhi, Beijing, Hong Kong, Osaka, South Korea, and Taiwan.

There is a country in the world called the Oceania.

Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.

Yes, definitely. If a $50 fee is paid within North America, $100 for international, the carrier counts as your carry-on bag, the dimensions are 10 x 15 x 21 and you give at least 24 hours notice, Air Canada allows one small cat or dog per passenger.

  • Economy: Air Canada has 18″ wide seats in economy on most of their planes, which is 1″ wider than most other airlines. They also have 31-34″ seat pitch/ legroom on most aircraft, except for some Rouge planes that only give 29″
  • Premium Economy: You’ll get a wider seat on almost every premium economy flight, with an average of 19-24″, with 37-38″ seat pitch / legroom, which is a great upgrade from economy.
  • Business: In a non-lay flat bed seat, business seats have an average width of 20-21″.

air canada business class seats

When: Checked bags are free.

  • Traveling to Europe (even with a normal economy ticket)
  • in Premium Economy or Business
  • or with at least 25K elite status

Economy checked bags are $30 for the first and $50 for the second.

Carry On Bags

You can bring a personal item and a carry-on bag for free on Air Canada. They have the largest personal item size allowance in the country at 17 x 6 x 13′′, and the largest carry-on bag size at 21.5 x 9 x 15.5′′.

It is a very popular option for Western Canadians to fly with WestJet, it is the 2nd largest airline in Canada. They have grown tremendously over the past 15 years and have added many new routes.

westjet 737 canada

There are pros and pros.

  • WestJet gets a better overall customer review score, outranking Air Canada
  • WestJet does have some code sharing with OneWorld and Skyteam, which helps with longer international trips.

There are pros and cons to this.

  • Many of WestJet’s planes, even the new ones, don’t have entertainment screens installed.
  • You have to be flying pretty far, like to Europe on one of their new 787s, in order to get any free food.
  • While WestJet used to be cheaper than Air Canada, in almost every case they now have identical pricing

The cities that Westjet currently flies to can be reached with a non-stop flight.

The country of Canada.

BC – Abbotsford, Comox, Cranbrook, Dawson Creek, Fort Saint John, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Penticton, Prince George, Terrace, Victoria, Vancouver

Medicine Hat, Fort McMurray, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, and Lloydminister are all part of the state.

SASKATCHEWAN, ARIZONA

In the state of Brandon, there is a MB.

Ontario includes Toronto, Hamilton, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Windsor.

Quebec City, Montreal, and Montreal are included.

Deer Lake, St. John’s and Gander are all in NL.

There is a city in Nova Scotia called Halifax.

PE is in Charlottetown.

Moncton, Frederickton, and Saint john are in the state of New York.

Yellowknife is in the NT.

Whitehorse is the YT.

The US.

Arizona – Phoenix

California includes Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Francisco, and San Diego.

The state of Colorado and the city of Denver.

The state of Florida includes Fort Myers, Tampa, and Orlando.

Georgia and Atlanta.

Hawaii includes Maui, Kona, Kauai, and Honolulu.

Maine is located in Boston.

Nevada is located in Las Vegas.

New York is located in New York.

Portland, Oregon.

South Carolina is in the ocean.

The state of Texas is Houston.

The state of Tennessee includes Nashville.

The state of Washington and Seattle.

Mexico is located in the country of Mexico.

CancunCozumelHuatulcoIxtapaManzanilloMazatlanMeridaPuerto Vallarta

San Jose Del Cabo is located in the state of Baja California.

Central America and Caribbean.

Antigua and Barbuda

There is an island in the Caribbean, Aruba.

There is a city in the country of Belize.

St. George is the location of the island of Bermuda.

The Bahamas and Nassau.

Bridgetown is located in the state of Barbados.

The Cayman Islands are located in the Caribbean.

San Jose, Costa Rica, is also known as Liberia.

Cuba is Holguin, Santa Clara, Varadero.

Puerto Plata is in the Dominican republic

Roatan in Honduras.

Kingston, Montego Bay, and Jamaica as a whole.

The island of Puerto Rico is called San Juan.

St. Lucia is called Vieux Fort.

Philipsburg is in St. Maarten.

It’s Europe.

Barcelona, Spain, Dublin, Ireland, Edinburgh, Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland, London, France and Rome, Italy.

Pet Policy

Yes, I agree. If you meet the rules, you can have a pet in the cabin if you pay a fee and call at least 48 hours prior to departure.

  • Economy: WestJet has 17″ wide seats in economy on most of their planes, which is 1″ less than Air Canada. They also have 31-36″ seat pitch/ legroom on most aircraft, so the planes with 34-36 give WestJet a huge legroom advantage.
  • Premium Economy: Most of WestJet’s Premium Economy (or ‘Plus’ seating), is the same seats as economy, but with the middle seat blocked off with a makeshift table, making the width the same as economy, 17″. A few planes have been retro-fitted with proper PE seats, those give 19-20″ width, and a massive 38″ seat pitch / legroom.
  • Business: On their 787’s, the business class seats turn into a lie-flat bed, with 21″ width and 46″ seat pitch / legroom.
Westjet 787 Economy class interior
WestJet Economy Seats on the 787 Dreamliner

When: Checked bags are free.

  • Booking an econoflex, premium economy or business ticket
  • When you book the flight with a Westjet credit card

Checked bags in the economy are $30-35 for the first and $50-$59 for the second in North America, and $60-71 and $90-109 respectfully for Europe.

Carry On Bags

You can bring a personal item and a carry-on bag for free at WestJet. The personal item size allowance is 16 x 6 x 13′′ and carry-on bag size is 21 x 9 x 15′′

westjet plane at calgary airport

It’s probably the largest example of success when it comes to an ultra-low-cost airline in the country, and that’s because it’s the biggest new kid on the block.

The tickets can be very cheap, as low as $79 for international flights to Mexico or the U.S., but they charge for everything after that. If you are a light traveler, you can save a lot of money by using the routes that the big guys don’t have. We did a full review of the route when it was first released.

There are pros and pros.

  • Incredibly low prices on airline tickets, we’ve seen prices as low as $29, which is something Canada hasn’t seen in decades.
  • Owned by WestJet, so you know the quality is there
  • The ability to fly direct on less popular routes that WestJet and Air Canada don’t operate

There are pros and cons to this.

  • You’re charged for absolutely everything. If you want to pick seats and bring lots of luggage, you can easily jack the price up as high as the major full-service carriers.
  • The routes, while seriously growing all the time, are still nowhere near AC or WJ’s offerings.
  • Planes are not as comfortable and really only offer 1-class of seating. The only way to score some extra leg room is to pick an emergency row or front of the plane, which can cost $25-50 extra.
  • Pets are not allowed on Swoop flights

Here is a list of cities that can be reached with a direct flight.

The country of Canada.

Deer Lake, Edmonton, Hamilton, Kettlena, London,Moncton,Ottawa, Saint John,Saskatoon. John is from Toronto and is from Victoria.

It is in the U.S.

Chicago, Las Vegas, Nashville, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Pete, Clearwater are all located in the United States.

Both Mexico and Caribbean.

Los Cabos, Mexico, Kingston, Jamaica, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

The routes are unique.

  • Edmonton and Abbotsford to Mazatlan, Mexico (seasonal, winter)
  • Edmonton to San Diego, seasonal (summer, early fall)
  • Winnipeg to Kelowna, seasonal (summer, early fall)
  • Swoop had some other unique flights, like Kelowna to Las Vegas direct, that disappeared during the pandemic. Hopefully, they will soon return.
Swoop Airlines Route Map 2022
Credit: Swoop Airlines

No, that’s not true. Pets are not allowed in the cabin as service animals.

Economy seats have an average of 29′′ pitch / leg room and 17′′ inch wide seat. The extra leg room seats that are available for purchase for $25-$50 at the time of booking will get you another 4-6′′ of leg room on the plane. If they are purchased later, they will go up in price.

swoop airlines economy cabin
Credit: FlySwoop.com

Checked Bags

The cost of checked bags and the time frame of when you buy them can be found on SWOOP. The costs are based on when the ticket is purchased. If you modify an existing booking to add a bag at the airport, you will pay an additional $20 fee. The summer and Christmas peak fees are added to the baggage prices.

Short distance is less than 1000 km, Medium distance is 1000 to 3000 km and Long distance is 3000+ km.

The bags are limited to 50 lbs.

Carry on Bags

Ultra-low-cost airlines have a carry-on bag that costs money. Carry-on charges are the same as the pricing matrix we discussed. Booking is the best price, followed by $10 more and $20 more at the airport. During summer and Christmas, there is an extra fee.

The max carry-on is 21 x 9 x 15′′.

Short distance (less than 1000km) $36.75

It is a medium distance of 1000 to 3000km.

The long distance is $56.50.

A personal item is free, but can’t be larger than 16 x 6 x 13′′.

Swoop Kelowna
Swoop plane landing in Kelowna, BC

Air Transat

Air Transat is a vacation and charter airline based in Quebec. Air Canada canceled their acquisition of the airline in 2021. The flights are mainly for snowbirds going to the states and vacationers going to Mexico, the Caribbean, and even some impressive European routes.

air transat plane in the air

There are pros and pros.

  • Great deals to both popular routes, like Los Angeles and Cancun, but also to some more unique places like Cartagena, Colombia and Malaga, Spain.
  • They have a ‘club’ class, which is very similar to a business class-type seat, offering very comfortable ways to vacation hotspots that other airlines don’t.
  • You can earn Aeroplan points on flight due to their agreement with the Star Alliance
  • Carry-on bags are free

There are pros and cons to this.

  • Many of the routes are extremely seasonal, so they won’t be available all year
  • Some planes have a 16.5″ wide seat in economy, which is a tight squeeze for many.
  • Pricing for the ‘Club’ cabin (which is a version of business class) can get quite pricey considering it’s not a full-service business class product. Deals can always be found, but the standard pricing can be eye-opening for a charter airline.

Where does Air Transat fly DIRECT?

Air Transat currently flies to a number of cities that can be reached on a non-stop flight.

They came from Canada.

The city of Montreal and the province of Quebec are associated with the city of Toronto and the province of Vancouver.

It is in the U.S.

California – Los Angeles, San Francisco

Florida includes Fort Lauderdale, Miami and other places.

Louisiana and New Orleans are in Louisiana.

Nevada is located in Las Vegas.

Mexico is located in the country of Mexico.

Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco are both in Mexico.

Caribbean Cuba includes Cayo Coco, Havana, Holguin, Santa Clara, Varadero Guadeloupe, Point-a-PitreHaiti, Port-au-Prince, and Montego Bay.

Costa Rica,Liberia, San Jose, El Salvador, and Panama are located in Central/South America.

It’s Europe.

Belgium –  Brussels

Croatia’s capital is Zagreb.

Czechia andPrague.

Bordeaux, Toulouse, Lyon, and Paris are all in France.

Ireland is in Dublin.

Venice, Rome, and Lamezia are in Italy.

The Netherlands is in Amsterdam.

Lisbon, Porto and Faro are in Portugal.

Spain is divided into Barcelona, Madrid, and Malaga.

Switzerland is also known as Basel.

The U.K. is located in London, Manchester and Glasgow.

Routes that are unique.

Most of Air Transat’s routes are very unique.

  • Toronto to Zagreb, Croatia
  • Toronto to Cartagena, Colombia
  • Montreal to Malaga, Spain
  • Montreal to Bordeaux, France
  • Montreal to Acapulco

Pet Policy

Yes, that’s right. Pets are allowed in the cabin on Air Transat. One cat or dog per passenger, with at least 72 hours notice, the kennel must count as the passengers carry-on allowance, and a fee of $50 within Canada/U.S., or $100 internationally must be paid.

Air Transat is one of the smallest airlines in the country, with seats as small as 16.5′′ wide in economy, but some planes have the standard 17′′ and a few planes with 18′′. If you’re worried about getting a 16.5′′ seat, check the flight on SeatGuru. The economy’s seat pitch is between 3 and 31 degrees. Air Transat has very roomy club seats with an average width of 22 inches and a seat pitch of 33 degrees.

air transat club class
Credit: Air Transat Club Class seats

Checked Bags

Air Transat has a 50lb limit to checked baggage in their club class.

If a vacation package has been booked, the economy is free if it’s a checked bag only flight. The club class always gets a free bag.

Carry-On Bags

All flights of Air Transat have a free carry-on bag and a personal item. Carry on bags have a limit of 20 x 9 x 16′′ and personal items have a limit of 17 x 5 x 12.

Air Transat is one of the major discount airlines in Canada that offers cheap flights and vacation packages to sunny destinations. The deal to acquire Sunwing was announced in March of 2000.

Sunwing airline

They are pros.

  • Sunwing operates out of almost every Canadian airport, even smaller ones like Regina SK, offering more vacation for Canadians who don’t live near major airports like Toronto.
  • They have really cheap vacation packages, including hotels. Sometimes the prices are so cheap it’s like getting the round-trip flight for free.

There are pros and cons to this.

  • Service is an issue, especially in pandemic times. It’s been well talked about that Sunwing has suspended food and beverage service on flights throughout the past few years, leaving passengers hungry. Imagine a 5.5 hour flight from Winnipeg to Mexico without anything to eat!
  • Seats are small and legroom is almost nonexistent
  • There is no premium economy or business on any flight. The only way to get any extra legroom is one row of emergency seating mid-plane.
  • The carry-on weight allowance is laughable and almost impossible to meet.

Where does Sunwing fly DIRECT?

Sunwing currently flies to some cities that can be reached with a non-stop flight.

Sunwing flights are from Canada to sunny destinations but not used for domestic routes.

Mexico is located in the country of Mexico.

Los Cabos, Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta are all located in Mexico.

Caribbean.

Cuba, Cayo Coco, Havana, Mazanillo, Varadero, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Plata are all located in the Dominican Republic. There is a person named Maarten

In Central America.

Panama City, Costa Rica.

I don’t think so. Pets are not allowed in the cabin on Sunwing if they are a service animal.

Seats and Leg Room

On Sunwing the seating is a little tight. They only fly a plane with one version of economy class that has seats that are 17′′ wide and 29′′ inches of leg room. There will be an issue with tall passengers. If you can book a seat in the emergency row, you will get up to 10% more leg room.

Checked Baggage

Sunwing allows passengers who have booked a total vacation package to bring one checked bag for free, while passengers who have only booked a flight with the airline will have to pay $21-$26.

50 lbs is the max weight for a checked bag.

Carry On Bags

All passengers are allowed to bring a free personal item and a free carry-on bag. The carry-on weight rule is very low in weight at 11 lbs. Most carry-on bags weigh around 11 lbs without anything inside. There is no fee to allow for a heavier bag on the plane, as Sunwing checks every bag and will not allow it on the plane if it is over 11 lbs.

Carry-on bags have a size limit of 20 x 9 x 16′′ and personal items have a size limit of 9 x 11 x 5.

Lynx

There are some great routes to start with the new ULCC kid. They currently serve 10 cities across Canada, with fares as low as $48 on their planes.

Credit: FlyLynx.com

Here is a list of cities that can be reached with a direct non-stop flight, which is sure to grow after their first year.

The country of Canada.

The city of Edmonton has aHalifax andKelownaSt. John lived in Toronto and Victoria.

Routes that are unique.

Other airlines, like Air Canada and WestJet, use a small propeller plane to carry passengers.

Pets

Pets are allowed with a fee of $59, 48 hours notice, and 16 in. kennel dimensions. L x 7.5 in. H x 10 A. W.

The seats on the plane are 17′′ wide and between 29′′ and 30′′ in seat pitch, with the exception of the front row and emergency row.

You can pay $10-$22 for a normal seat and $60 for an emergency row or front row seat. It’s free if you let Lynx select for you.

The weight limit for checked bags is 50 lbs and the fees are based on flight distance. Adding a checked bag after ticket purchase is $10 and $20 after check-in at the airport.

Carry-on Bags

Carry-on bags have a fee and personal items are free. The personal item is limited to 17 x 6 x 13′′.

There is a generous size limit of 21.5 x 9 x 15.75, a weight limit of 22lb, and the fees are based on flight distance. Add a carry-on after ticket purchase is $5 and $10 after check-in at the airport.

Flair

Flair Airlines has been around for about 15 years, but recently went under a new name as they tried to stick out in the Canadian market. They aren’t owned by any of the big guys yet.

Something never seen before in the Canadian industry is the fact that they have some seriously low fares.

Flir airlines has low cost flights within canada

Where does Flair fly DIRECT?

Here is a list of cities that can be reached on a direct non-stop flight.

in Canada

Saint JohnNL is located in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and is also known as Deer Lake.

Chicago, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Burbank, Las Vegas, New York,Orlando, Palm Springs, San Francisco, Tucson.

Mexico and Caribbean.

CancunLos Cabos

Puerto Vallarta is in Mexico.

Routes that are unique.

  • Vancouver or Edmonton to Burbank / Hollywood
  • Prince George to Tucson, Arizona
  • Lethbridge to Tucson, Arizona
  • Edmonton to Nashville
  • Waterloo / Kitchener to Orlando

flair airlines flight route map 2022
Credit: FlyFlair.com

Pet Policy

Pets can be in the cabin for a maximum of 1 per passenger and 4 per flight. 48 hours notice is required, a fee of $49-$79 is paid, and the max kennel dimensions are 16 x 9 x 10 and 23 lbs.

Seats and Legroom

The planes used by Flair Airlines have a seat width of 17′′ and a seat pitch of 29 to 30′′. We couldn’t find an exact measurement of how many more inches it gets you, but they have extra legroom seats in the emergency row.

$10-$20 for a normal seat selection, and $25-45 for an extra legroom or emergency row seat, are the fees for seats. If you allow Flair to pick it, seats are free.

Checked Baggage

If you buy a checked bag at the airport, you will be charged a $10 fee. There is a maximum of 50lb in checked bags.

Carry-on Bags

A personal item is free, but a carry-on bag costs. The maximum size limit for personal items is 17 x 6 x 13′′ and 15 lbs, which is generous for an ULCC.

A carry on bag is $29-$49 when you pre-pay with an additional $10 fee at the airport, and has a max size of 21.5 x 15 x 9.

Billy Bishop airport is Toronto’s smaller (cooler!) airport and Porter Airlines is located there. The airline only flies the smaller Bombardier Q400 Dash planes, but offers some decent Eastern routes both within Canada and the States.

porter airlines

Where does Porter fly direct?

Porter flies directly to some cities.

The country of Canada.

Mont TremblantMontrealMuskokaQuebec CitySault Sainte. MarieSt John’s StephenvilleSudburyThunder.

The U.S. is located in the U.S.

Myrtle Beach is in Boston, New York and Washington.

Routes that are different.

  • Toronto (YTZ) to Muskoka

    If you want to skip the drive to cabin country, you can take a Porter flight.

Porter allows up to 2 pets in the cabin, with a max weight of 22 lbs each, including the carrier, with a fee of $50 and at least 24 hours’ notice.

Seats and Legroom

All of theDash planes that Port uses are configured the same way, with 68 economy seats and 6 premium seats. The premium seats have the same size, but at the front of the plane have a little more leg room.

Premium seats are 17′′ wide and have a seat pitch of 32′′.

Checked Baggage

Porter has a weight limit on checked bags and the price is determined at the same time you buy the ticket as the cheapest rate.

At the time of purchase: $27-$42

Carry-on Bags

Porter offers a personal item free of charge, and a carry-on is also free if booked on a Freedom, Standard, or Flexible fare. The basic fare is the only one that has to be paid for a carry-on.

Personal items have a limit of 17 x 6 x 13′′ and carry-on bags have a limit of 16 x 9 x 22′′.

Jetlines

At the time of writing, Jetlines doesn’t have their routes published in Canada. Outside of Toronto, Jetlines will have its headquarters. They plan to start operations late summer or early fall of 2022, flying within Canada and to the US, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Smaller regional Canadian airlines

For smaller regional routes, there are more Canadian airlines to mention. All of the carriers have important connections in the provinces and territories. The carrier’s current flight route map can be found by clicking on it.

Canada has finally positioned itself to offer passengers more options than ever when it comes to air travel, and it looks like the demand will only increase in the years to come.

Read more.

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