Vancouver-Calgary was the busiest route in Canada last year, and the only Canadian city pair to make it onto the list of the 10 busiest routes on the continent in 2018, according to new data released by OAG, a private aviation data provider.
The route saw 18,964 flights last year, putting it in 10th place in North America. The busiest route was between Los Angeles and San Francisco, with more than 35,000 flights in 2018.
Data compiled by Western Aviation News show Air Canada and Westjet each offer about 13,700 seats per week between the two cities, although Westjet offers additional frequencies from nearby Abbotsford. Ultra low-cost carrier Flair is a marginal player in the market, offering five weekly flights on the route this summer.
The OAG figures show nine out of the 10 busiest international routes form North America in 2018 feature Canadian cities.
Toronto-New York LaGuardia was the busiest transborder route (between Canada and the United States), with more than 17,000 flights last year. That was followed by New York-JFK to London-Heathrow, the only international U.S. service not involving Canada to make the top 10.
Toronto-Chicago, Montreal-LaGuardia, and Toronto-Atlanta round out the top five. In addition to Heathrow, only two other routes in the top 10 international markets – Vancouver-Los Angeles and Vancouver-San Francisco – don’t involve either Montreal or Toronto.
OAG reports Air Canada offers the most capacity on six of the nine transborder routes to make the list. With its partner United, the Star Alliance partners control almost 60% of the market between Canada and the United States, according to data filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation by Delta.
Within Canada, the busiest medium-haul domestic route is between Vancouver and Toronto, with 15,251 flights last year, though because of larger planes, the route offers the most capacity in the country. It is the only Canadian city-pair to rank in the top-10 in the medium-haul category, according to OAG.