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Air Travel - Canada - October 2016

"Operators in the passenger airline industry in Canada are facing a changing environment of evolving preferences and consumer demand. While some consumer behaviours surrounding and attitudes towards air travel are largely generational, the consensus among consumers revolves around the concerns related to the costs of flying, which range from the base airfare to additional fees such as baggage or seat selection. To entice consumers and preserve an excellent reputation, which will help grow airlines’ market share and volume of passengers, carriers will need to focus on providing high quality service, as well as direct routes that are competitively priced."
- Andrew Zmijak, Research Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Air travellers are highly cost-conscious 
  • Older consumers are more fastidious over who they fly with
  • Uncertain economic times and increasing household debt will affect discretionary spending

This report focuses on frequency and type of air travel, source of air travel booking, influencing factors when choosing a flight, as well as attitudes towards and behaviours surrounding air travel. Macroeconomic factors affecting the airline industry, and market size and forecasts are also explored. The report also looks at marketing and advertising campaigns from this category and trends impacting the industry.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definitions
        • Destinations
          • Trip length
            • Trip type
              • Trip frequency
              • Executive Summary

                • The issues
                  • Air travellers are highly cost-conscious
                    • Figure 1: Attitudes towards air travel, August 2016
                  • Older consumers are more fastidious over who they fly with
                    • Figure 2: Influencing factors when choosing a flight, 18-44s vs over-45s, August 2016
                  • Uncertain economic times and increasing household debt will affect discretionary spending
                    • The opportunities
                      • Older consumers are a loyal lot
                        • Figure 3: Air traveller behaviour, over-55s vs overall, August 2016
                      • Airlines will benefit from a rising population that is also ethnically diverse
                        • Consumers would favour a seamless travel experience
                          • Figure 4: Attitudes towards air travel, August 2016
                        • What it means
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • Moderate growth forecasted for the Canadian airline industry
                            • Domestic air travel will see a turbulent future
                              • Strong growth for international air travel
                                • Aging Canadians and Millennial wanderlust bodes well for air travel
                                  • Airlines to benefit from a rising population that is ethnically diverse
                                    • Uncertain economic times and increasing household debt will affect discretionary spending
                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                      • Moderate growth forecasted for the Canadian airline industry
                                        • Figure 5: Total volume of passengers, air travel, Canada, 2011-21
                                        • Figure 6: Total volume of passengers, air travel, Canada, 2011-21
                                      • Domestic air travel will see a turbulent future
                                        • Figure 7: Volume of passengers, domestic air travel, 2011-21
                                        • Figure 8: Volume of passengers, domestic air travel, 2011-21
                                      • Strong growth for international air travel
                                        • Figure 9: Volume of passengers, international air travel, 2011-21
                                        • Figure 10: Volume of passengers, international air travel, 2011-21
                                      • Forecast methodology
                                      • Market Factors

                                        • An aging Canadian population, as well as Millennial wanderlust, bodes well for air travel
                                          • Figure 11: Population aged 65 years and over in Canada, historical and projected (% of total), 1971-2061
                                          • Figure 12: Projected trends in the age structure of the Canada population, 2014-19
                                        • Airlines will benefit from a growing population that is ethnically diverse
                                          • Uncertain economic times and increasing household debt will affect discretionary spending
                                            • A weak Canadian dollar may help to boost domestic travel
                                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                              • Air Transat’s seasonal marketing campaign highlights Europe
                                                • Airliners are updating their fleets
                                                  • An increase in air travellers presents opportunities for airlines
                                                    • Competitive powers are forcing some airlines out
                                                      • Canadian airports are expensive and inefficient
                                                        • Ultra-low-cost airlines may influence the airline industry in Canada
                                                          • Taking the first class experience to a higher level
                                                            • Increasing passenger volumes are seeing airports invest and expand
                                                            • Marketing and Advertising

                                                              • Air Transat’s seasonal marketing campaign spotlights Europe
                                                                • Figure 13: Air Transat, advertisement, June 2016
                                                                • Figure 14: Air Transat, advertisement, April 2016
                                                                • Figure 15: Air Transat vacations, advertisement, April 2016
                                                              • Flying the latest and greatest airliners
                                                                • Figure 16: Norwegian Air, corporate branding, May 2016
                                                                • Figure 17: Air Canada, advertisement, April 2016
                                                                • Figure 18: Xiamen Airlines, corporate branding, July 2016
                                                              • Highlighting modern in-flight features
                                                                • Figure 19: Delta Air Lines, corporate branding, May 2016
                                                                • Figure 20: Delta Air Lines, corporate branding, March 2016
                                                              • Marketing airline achievements
                                                                • Figure 21: Porter Airlines, corporate branding, January 2016
                                                                • Figure 22: Alaska Airlines, corporate branding, May 2016
                                                            • What’s Working?

                                                              • Taking advantage of the increase in air travel
                                                                • Figure 23: Where Am I?, television advertisement, June 2016
                                                              • Speeding up the border-crossing process
                                                              • What’s Struggling?

                                                                • Competitive forces are weeding out some airlines
                                                                  • Canadian airports are expensive and inefficient
                                                                  • What’s Next?

                                                                    • Taking luxury air travel to the next level
                                                                      • Ultra-low-cost airlines may shake up the airline industry in Canada
                                                                        • Increasing passenger volumes are seeing airports invest and expand
                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                          • The majority of Canadians have travelled by air
                                                                            • Males and Chinese Canadians are avid air travellers
                                                                              • Flights are most commonly booked online or directly through an airline
                                                                                • Three quarters of air travellers are influenced by price
                                                                                  • Consumers are seeking a seamless travel experience
                                                                                  • Types of Air Travel

                                                                                    • Most Canadians have travelled by air
                                                                                      • Figure 24: Type of air travel, any frequency, August 2016
                                                                                    • Men are more likely to travel by air
                                                                                      • Figure 25: Type of air travel (any frequency), by gender, August 2016
                                                                                    • Trip length to non-Canadian destinations affects likelihood of air travel
                                                                                      • Figure 26: Short/long air travel leisure trips, by location, August 2016
                                                                                      • Figure 27: Air travel leisure trips, by age of children at home, August 2016
                                                                                    • A fifth of Canadians fly at least twice per year for short leisure trips
                                                                                      • Figure 28: Frequency of short/long air travel leisure trips, August 2016
                                                                                    • A third travel by air for short business trips in Canada
                                                                                      • Figure 29: Short/long air travel business trips, by location, August 2016
                                                                                    • Chinese Canadians are avid air travellers
                                                                                      • Figure 30: Type of air travel (any frequency), Chinese Canadians vs overall population, August 2016
                                                                                  • Source of Air Travel Booking

                                                                                    • Flights are most commonly booked online or directly through an airline
                                                                                      • Figure 31: Source of air travel booking, August 2016
                                                                                    • Frequent travellers to the US for short stays and business travellers are more adept in booking flights online
                                                                                      • Figure 32: Source of air travel booking, by type of traveller, August 2016
                                                                                  • Influencing Factors When Choosing a Flight

                                                                                    • Three quarters of air travellers are influenced by price when choosing a flight
                                                                                      • Figure 33: Top 5 influencing factors when choosing a flight, August 2016
                                                                                    • Older consumers are more particular
                                                                                      • Figure 34: Influencing factors when choosing a flight, 18-44s vs over-45s, August 2016
                                                                                    • Young consumers are more easily influenced
                                                                                      • Figure 35: Influencing factors when choosing a flight, 18-44s vs over-45s, August 2016
                                                                                  • Attitudes Surrounding and Behaviours towards Air Travel

                                                                                    • Older consumers are a loyal bunch
                                                                                      • Figure 36: Air traveller behaviour, over-55s vs overall, August 2016
                                                                                    • Today’s air travellers are highly cost-conscious
                                                                                      • Figure 37: Attitudes towards air travel, August 2016
                                                                                    • Consumers are looking for a seamless travel experience
                                                                                      • Figure 38: Attitudes towards air travel, August 2016
                                                                                  • Travel Apps and Marketing

                                                                                    • Some consumers are unwelcoming of email marketing
                                                                                      • Figure 39: Attitudes towards travel email marketing, August 2016
                                                                                    • Most Canadian air travellers are lukewarm on the use of travel apps
                                                                                      • Figure 40: Attitudes towards travel apps related to trip planning, August 2016
                                                                                    • App communication is key for a third of travellers
                                                                                      • Figure 41: Attitudes towards travel apps related function, August 2016
                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                                      • Consumer survey data
                                                                                        • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                          • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                            • Abbreviations

                                                                                            Air Travel - Canada - October 2016

                                                                                            US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)