Top 7 Best Airlines to Work with in Canada

Canada’s aviation industry offers a diverse range of opportunities for those seeking a career in the skies or on the ground. Choosing the best airline to work for can significantly impact your job satisfaction, career development, and work-life balance. This guide explores the top airlines in Canada, evaluating them based on various criteria such as employee benefits, work environment, career opportunities, and overall reputation. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a clear understanding of the best airlines to work for in Canada and what makes them stand out.

1. Air Canada

Zürich, Switzerland – April 18, 2016: Boeing 787 Dreamliner of Air Canada departing Zurich airport. Air Canada flies to over 178 destinations worldwide and is the tenth largest airline in the world.

Overview

Air Canada is the largest airline in Canada, offering extensive domestic and international routes. As the country’s flagship carrier, Air Canada is renowned for its commitment to safety, customer service, and employee satisfaction.

Employee Benefits

Air Canada provides a comprehensive benefits package that includes:

  • Health and Dental Insurance: Extensive coverage for medical, dental, and vision care.
  • Retirement Savings Plan: Competitive pension plans and contributions to retirement savings.
  • Travel Benefits: Significant discounts on airfare for employees and their families.
  • Paid Time Off: Generous vacation days, holidays, and sick leave.
  • Employee Assistance Program: Support for personal and professional challenges, including counseling and wellness resources.

Work Environment

Air Canada fosters a dynamic and inclusive work environment, promoting diversity and equal opportunity. The company places a strong emphasis on employee training and development, ensuring staff are well-equipped to excel in their roles.

Career Opportunities

Air Canada offers numerous career paths, from flight operations and customer service to corporate roles and technical positions. The airline is known for its robust training programs and opportunities for career advancement, making it an attractive option for long-term career growth.

Reputation

Air Canada is widely recognized for its operational excellence and commitment to sustainability. The airline has received numerous awards for its service quality and innovation in the aviation industry.

Employee Reviews

Employees often praise Air Canada for its comprehensive benefits, opportunities for career advancement, and supportive work culture. However, some reviews mention the high demands of the job and the need for flexibility in scheduling, especially for entry-level positions.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Comprehensive benefits package
  • Extensive career development opportunities
  • Inclusive and diverse work environment

Cons:

  • High demands and stressful work conditions
  • Irregular hours, especially for entry-level positions

Salary

The salaries at Air Canada vary widely depending on the role, location, and experience level of the employee. On average, Air Canada employees earn around CAD 71,637 per year​ (PayScale)​. Here is a breakdown of average salaries for some common positions:

  1. Flight Attendants: Approximately CAD 42,480 per year​ (PayScale)​.
  2. Commercial Pilots: Around CAD 61,058 per year​ (PayScale)​.
  3. Operations Managers: About CAD 104,343 per year​ (PayScale)​.
  4. Customer Service Agents: Ranges from CAD 47,543 to CAD 105,032 annually, depending on specific roles and responsibilities​ (Salary.com)​.
  5. Concierge: Around CAD 37,398 per year​ (Salary.com)​.

The compensation can include various forms of additional pay such as bonuses, profit sharing, and other benefits. For instance, Air Canada employees may receive an average bonus of CAD 5,000 per year​ (PayScale)​.

Overall, salaries can range from approximately CAD 49,759 to CAD 108,816 per year, reflecting the diversity of positions and seniority within the company​ (PayScale)​​ (Salary.com)​.

2. WestJet
Goffs, Canada – April 19, 2021 – A grounded WestJet Boeing 737-700 at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Long exposure.

Overview

WestJet is a prominent Canadian airline known for its friendly service and strong corporate culture. With a focus on customer satisfaction and employee well-being, WestJet is a popular choice among job seekers in the aviation industry.

Employee Benefits

WestJet offers a competitive benefits package that includes:

  • Health and Wellness Programs: Comprehensive health, dental, and vision insurance.
  • Profit Sharing and Stock Options: Opportunities for employees to share in the company’s success.
  • Travel Benefits: Discounts on flights for employees and their families.
  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Options for flexible schedules and work-life balance initiatives.
  • Employee Assistance Program: Support for mental health and well-being.

Work Environment

WestJet is known for its positive and collaborative work environment. The airline places a strong emphasis on teamwork, innovation, and employee engagement, fostering a culture of mutual respect and support.

Career Opportunities

WestJet provides a range of career opportunities, from pilots and flight attendants to corporate roles and technical positions. The airline’s commitment to employee development includes training programs, leadership development, and career progression pathways.

Reputation

WestJet is highly regarded for its customer service and corporate culture. The airline has received numerous awards for its service quality and employee satisfaction, reinforcing its reputation as a great place to work.

Employee Reviews

Employees often highlight WestJet’s supportive work culture, opportunities for professional growth, and the sense of community within the company. Some reviews mention challenges related to rapid company growth and the need for improved communication in certain areas.

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Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Strong corporate culture and teamwork
  • Comprehensive benefits and profit-sharing options
  • Focus on employee engagement and development

Cons:

  • Growing pains and occasional communication challenges
  • High expectations and workload during peak seasons

Salary

WestJet employee salaries vary significantly based on job role and experience. On average, WestJet employees earn about CAD 84,022 per year​ (PayScale)​. Here is a breakdown of average salaries for some common positions:

  1. Customer Service Agents: Around CAD 38,210 to CAD 38,132 annually​ (PayScale)​.
  2. Airline Pilots: Between CAD 58,000 and CAD 301,830 per year, with an average of approximately CAD 112,739 annually​ (PayScale)​.
  3. Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs): Around CAD 84,719 per year​ (PayScale)​.
  4. Cabin Crew Members: Between CAD 38,000 and CAD 65,000 annually, with an average of CAD 53,000​ (PayScale)​.

These figures reflect the range of compensation across different roles and seniority levels at WestJet.

3. Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines plane. Porter Airlines is a Canadian airline. Toronto, Canada – May 25, 2024.

Overview

Porter Airlines is a regional airline based in Toronto, known for its exceptional service and convenient downtown location at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Porter offers a unique travel experience, focusing on customer comfort and convenience.

Employee Benefits

Porter Airlines provides a competitive benefits package that includes:

  • Health and Dental Insurance: Coverage for medical, dental, and vision care.
  • Travel Benefits: Discounts on flights for employees and their families.
  • Retirement Savings Plan: Contributions to employee retirement savings.
  • Paid Time Off: Vacation days, holidays, and sick leave.
  • Employee Assistance Program: Support for personal and professional challenges.

Work Environment

Porter Airlines fosters a supportive and collaborative work environment. The airline values teamwork, innovation, and employee engagement, creating a positive workplace culture.

Career Opportunities

Porter Airlines offers a variety of career opportunities, including roles in flight operations, customer service, and corporate functions. The airline is committed to employee development, providing training programs and opportunities for career advancement.

Reputation

Porter Airlines is well-regarded for its high level of customer service and convenient travel experience. The airline has received several awards for its service quality and commitment to passenger comfort.

Employee Reviews

Employees at Porter Airlines often commend the company for its supportive work culture, opportunities for professional development, and the unique travel experience it offers. Some reviews mention challenges related to the airline’s smaller size and the need for improved communication.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Supportive and collaborative work environment
  • Comprehensive benefits package
  • Unique travel experience and customer service focus

Cons:

  • Smaller size may limit career advancement opportunities
  • Communication challenges in certain areas

Salary

Porter Airlines employees have a range of salaries depending on their roles. The average salary is about CAD 57,000 per year. Here is a breakdown of average salaries for some common positions:

  1. Customer Service Representatives: Around CAD 39,519 per year.
  2. Pilots: Approximately CAD 119,322 per year.
  3. Flight Attendants: About CAD 30.71 per hour, translating to approximately CAD 64,000 annually if working full-time.
  4. General Counsel: Up to CAD 199,148 annually.

Overall, the compensation varies with different job roles and seniority levels​ (PayScale)​ .

4. Sunwing Airlines

Tenerife, Spain June 4st, 2023. Boeing 737-800 of SUNWING AIRLINES flies in the blue sky, landing at Tenerife Airport over the ocean

Overview

Sunwing Airlines is a low-cost airline specializing in vacation travel to sunny destinations. Known for its affordable fares and vacation packages, Sunwing offers a dynamic work environment for those passionate about travel and customer service.

Employee Benefits

Sunwing Airlines provides a competitive benefits package that includes:

  • Health and Dental Insurance: Comprehensive coverage for medical, dental, and vision care.
  • Travel Benefits: Discounts on flights and vacation packages for employees and their families.
  • Retirement Savings Plan: Contributions to employee retirement savings.
  • Paid Time Off: Vacation days, holidays, and sick leave.
  • Employee Assistance Program: Support for mental health and well-being.

Work Environment

Sunwing Airlines fosters a fun and energetic work environment. The airline values customer service, teamwork, and employee engagement, creating a positive and dynamic workplace culture.

Career Opportunities

Sunwing Airlines offers a range of career opportunities, from flight operations and customer service to corporate roles and technical positions. The airline is committed to employee development, providing training programs and opportunities for career advancement.

Reputation

Sunwing Airlines is known for its affordable vacation packages and friendly service. The airline has received several awards for its value and customer satisfaction, reinforcing its reputation as a great place to work for those passionate about travel.

Employee Reviews

Employees at Sunwing Airlines often praise the company for its fun work environment, opportunities for professional development, and the travel benefits offered. Some reviews mention challenges related to the seasonal nature of the business and the need for improved communication.

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Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Fun and dynamic work environment
  • Comprehensive benefits package
  • Travel benefits and vacation packages

Cons:

  • Seasonal nature of the business may impact job stability
  • Communication challenges in certain areas

Salary

Salaries at Sunwing Airlines in 2024 vary depending on the role. Here are some examples:

  1. Pilots: An average base salary of approximately CAD 161,759 annually​ (Cabin Crew HQ)​.
  2. Flight Attendants: Around CAD 32.77 per hour, translating to about CAD 68,000 annually if working full-time​ (Cabin Crew HQ)​.
  3. Customer Service Agents: Approximately CAD 36,509 per year​ (Cabin Crew HQ)​.

These salaries reflect the diversity of roles and experience levels within the company. Additional benefits include health and wellness programs, retirement planning, and travel privileges​ (Cabin Crew HQ)​.

5. Jazz Aviation

Ottawa, Canada – November 2, 2014: Aircraft C-GONW Bombardier Dash 8-102 Air Canada Express Jazz on the runway at Ottawa Airport YOW Canada November 2, 2014

Overview

Jazz Aviation is one of the largest regional airlines in Canada, operating flights on behalf of Air Canada Express. Known for its extensive network and commitment to safety, Jazz Aviation offers a stable and rewarding work environment.

Employee Benefits

Jazz Aviation provides a competitive benefits package that includes:

  • Health and Dental Insurance: Comprehensive coverage for medical, dental, and vision care.
  • Retirement Savings Plan: Competitive pension plans and contributions to retirement savings.
  • Travel Benefits: Discounts on flights for employees and their families.
  • Paid Time Off: Generous vacation days, holidays, and sick leave.
  • Employee Assistance Program: Support for personal and professional challenges.

Work Environment

Jazz Aviation fosters a supportive and inclusive work environment. The airline values teamwork, safety, and employee engagement, creating a positive workplace culture.

Career Opportunities

Jazz Aviation offers a variety of career opportunities, including roles in flight operations, customer service, and technical positions. The airline is committed to employee development, providing training programs and opportunities for career advancement.

Reputation

Jazz Aviation is well-regarded for its commitment to safety and customer service. The airline has received several awards for its operational excellence and employee satisfaction, reinforcing its reputation as a great place to work.

Employee Reviews

Employees at Jazz Aviation often commend the company for its supportive work culture, opportunities for professional development, and the focus on safety. Some reviews mention challenges related to the regional nature of the business and the need for improved communication.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Supportive and inclusive work environment
  • Comprehensive benefits package
  • Commitment to safety and operational excellence

Cons:

  • Regional nature of the business may limit career advancement opportunities
  • Communication challenges in certain areas

Salary

Salaries at Jazz Aviation in 2024 vary depending on the role and experience. Here are some examples:

  1. Pilots: First Officers start at CAD 64,300 annually, while Captains start at CAD 107,217 annually. Additional incentives and allowances can increase their total compensation.
  2. Flight Attendants: Approximately CAD 31.81 per hour, translating to around CAD 64,000 annually for full-time work.
  3. Customer Service Agents: Roughly CAD 38,716 per year.

Jazz Aviation offers comprehensive benefits including healthcare, pension plans, and travel perks​ (Jazz Aviation LP)​ .

6. Flair Airlines

Looking At Flair Airplane Taking Off During The Day At Ottawa International Airport In Ontario Canada

Overview

Flair Airlines is an ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) based in Edmonton, Alberta. Known for its affordable fares and no-frills service, Flair Airlines offers a dynamic work environment for those passionate about budget travel and customer service.

Employee Benefits

Flair Airlines provides a competitive benefits package that includes:

  • Health and Dental Insurance: Comprehensive coverage for medical, dental, and vision care.
  • Travel Benefits: Discounts on flights for employees and their families.
  • Retirement Savings Plan: Contributions to employee retirement savings.
  • Paid Time Off: Vacation days, holidays, and sick leave.
  • Employee Assistance Program: Support for mental health and well-being.

Work Environment

Flair Airlines fosters a dynamic and energetic work environment. The airline values customer service, teamwork, and employee engagement, creating a positive and fast-paced workplace culture.

Career Opportunities

Flair Airlines offers a range of career opportunities, from flight operations and customer service to corporate roles and technical positions. The airline is committed to employee development, providing training programs and opportunities for career advancement.

Reputation

Flair Airlines is known for its affordable fares and no-frills service. The airline has received several awards for its value and customer satisfaction, reinforcing its reputation as a great place to work for those passionate about budget travel.

Employee Reviews

Employees at Flair Airlines often praise the company for its dynamic work environment, opportunities for professional development, and the travel benefits offered. Some reviews mention challenges related to the fast-paced nature of the business and the need for improved communication.

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Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Dynamic and fast-paced work environment
  • Comprehensive benefits package
  • Travel benefits and budget travel focus

Cons:

  • Fast-paced nature of the business may impact work-life balance
  • Communication challenges in certain areas

Salary

Salaries at Flair Airlines in 2024 vary based on job role and experience. Here are some examples:

  1. Pilots: Average salary around CAD 119,000 per year.
  2. Flight Attendants: Approximately CAD 27.77 per hour, translating to about CAD 57,000 annually for full-time work.
  3. Customer Solutions Specialists: Around CAD 21 per hour.
  4. Controllers: About CAD 56 per hour.

Overall, the average salary at Flair Airlines is approximately CAD 75,435 annually​ (PayScale).

7. Air Transat

Paris / France – April 24, 2015: Air Transat Airbus A310 C-GFAT passenger plane departure and take off at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

Overview

Air Transat is a major Canadian airline specializing in holiday travel to destinations in Europe, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Known for its vacation packages and customer service, Air Transat offers a dynamic work environment for those passionate about travel and hospitality.

Employee Benefits

Air Transat provides a competitive benefits package that includes:

  • Health and Dental Insurance: Comprehensive coverage for medical, dental, and vision care.
  • Travel Benefits: Discounts on flights and vacation packages for employees and their families.
  • Retirement Savings Plan: Contributions to employee retirement savings.
  • Paid Time Off: Vacation days, holidays, and sick leave.
  • Employee Assistance Program: Support for mental health and well-being.

Work Environment

Air Transat fosters a supportive and collaborative work environment. The airline values customer service, teamwork, and employee engagement, creating a positive workplace culture.

Career Opportunities

Air Transat offers a variety of career opportunities, including roles in flight operations, customer service, and corporate functions. The airline is committed to employee development, providing training programs and opportunities for career advancement.

Reputation

Air Transat is well-regarded for its vacation packages and customer service. The airline has received several awards for its value and customer satisfaction, reinforcing its reputation as a great place to work.

Employee Reviews

Employees at Air Transat often commend the company for its supportive work culture, opportunities for professional development, and the travel benefits offered. Some reviews mention challenges related to the seasonal nature of the business and the need for improved communication.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Supportive and collaborative work environment
  • Comprehensive benefits package
  • Travel benefits and vacation packages

Cons:

  • Seasonal nature of the business may impact job stability
  • Communication challenges in certain areas

Salary

Salaries at Air Transat in 2024 vary based on roles and experience levels. Here are some examples:

  1. Flight Attendants: With a recent collective agreement, Air Transat’s flight attendants are now the highest paid in the industry in Canada. Their new agreement, effective until 2027, provides for substantial salary increases and better working conditions. The average hourly wage for flight attendants is around CAD 31.66, translating to an annual salary of approximately CAD 65,000 for full-time positions​ (Canadian Union of Public Employees)​​ (Transat A.T.)​.
  2. Pilots: Captains at Air Transat can earn up to CAD 211,414 annually, while First Officers have lower but still competitive salaries​ (Canadian Union of Public Employees)​.
  3. Customer Service Agents: The average salary for customer service agents is approximately CAD 37,009 per year​ (Canadian Union of Public Employees)​.

Overall, Air Transat offers competitive salaries across various roles, supported by strong collective agreements that ensure industry-leading pay, especially for flight attendants.

Summary

Choosing the best airline to work for in Canada depends on your personal preferences, career goals, and the type of work environment you thrive in. Each of the airlines mentioned in this guide offers unique benefits and opportunities:

  • Air Canada stands out for its comprehensive benefits and extensive career development opportunities.
  • WestJet is known for its strong corporate culture and employee engagement.
  • Porter Airlines offers a supportive and collaborative work environment with a focus on customer service.
  • Sunwing Airlines provides a fun and dynamic work environment with excellent travel benefits.
  • Jazz Aviation is recognized for its commitment to safety and operational excellence.
  • Flair Airlines offers a fast-paced and energetic work environment for those passionate about budget travel.
  • Air Transat specializes in holiday travel with a supportive work culture and great travel benefits.

Ultimately, the best airline to work for is one that aligns with your values, offers opportunities for growth, and provides a work environment where you can thrive. Consider the pros and cons of each airline, reflect on your career aspirations, and choose the one that best fits your needs and goals in the aviation industry.