Best Affordable Airlines In Canada In 2023



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As a young adult, I often want to travel with family and friends and explore the world and all its cultures. However, flying can be quite costly, sometimes taking months or years to save. Fortunately, some airlines offer cheaper flights to fit your budget; these airlines often fly within Canada and the U.S., but they may also provide flights further out.

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, more and more people are looking to travel, especially university students wanting to see their families during holidays and summer breaks.

You may recall the mess of airlines during Christmas break in 2022, with many flight cancellations and delays, increasing the prices of flights incredibly. So, more and more people are travelling, and flight tickets can get quite costly during those busy seasons!

Therefore, being able to fly more conveniently and affordably is essential!

Top Well-Known Airlines In Canada On A Budget

These airlines offer the best low-cost prices for flights. However, there may be sacrifices for amenities such as in-flight meals, refreshments, seat selection and baggage allowance. Another thing to keep in mind is that the airports used by some of these airlines might need to be in a better location. These airports are sometimes in areas only sometimes offered by other airlines, like Victoria, B.C., or Hamilton, On. 

Either way, the airlines will get you to your preferred destination!

Flair Air

Flair Air is one of North America’s best airlines for budget travel. They fly to most major cities in Canada, like Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and many more. 

  • Destinations: Locations in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico
  • Fleets: 24
  • Airplanes: Boeing 737 MAX 8 & Boeing 737-800

The average flight price is around $100 or less, with discounts available. 

A ticket gets you a seat on your flight and allows you to bring one personal item that can be stored under the seat. If you can fit all your travelling necessities into a small gym bag or backpack, then Flair Air is the best option for you.  

Unfortunately, additional advantages do cost extra and are optional; these include:

  • One carry-on bag is an additional $39-$59; more than one carry-on will increase the cost. 
  • Calling Flair Air to change your flight will cost you an extra $15 instead of making those changes through their website. 
  • If you wish to travel with your pet, it is an additional $99.
  • Suppose you are travelling with two people or more and wish to be seated together. In that case, you will have to pay $10-$20 to pick your seats in advance, with the price increasing if you want more legroom or priority boarding. Otherwise, you will be seated at random.
  • Checked baggage costs around $44+.
  • There are fees for changing and cancelling your flight as well. 

Flair Airlines does offer a bundle option for multiple items of baggage. However, they are strict, with no leeway with their luggage allowance. 

Something to consider is that Flair does not offer Wi-Fi or power outlets on their planes. As a result, delays are also relatively common. Fortunately, they do offer travel insurance. 


WestJet is the parent company of Swoop, however, expect to be travelling differently than you would on a WestJet flight. Swoop is famous for warmer weather destinations.

  • Destinations: Locations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean.
  • Fleets: 16
  • Airplanes: Boeing 737 MAX 8 & Boeing 737-800

Popular locations in the U.S. are Florida, Las Vegas, and Arizona. In addition, they fly to 13 Canadian cities, which includes smaller destinations like Kelowna, Moncton, and Abbotsford. It is important to note that they do not fly to the Vancouver International Airport. 

The average price for a one way is about $100. However, they often offer discounts. 

A ticket gets you a seat and an allowance of one personal item. 

Carry-ons and seat selection do come at an additional cost. Pricing of your carry-on bags depends on whether you pay for it online during your flight ticket purchase, during check-in and if you are to add it last minute at the airport. Carry-on bag pricing also depends on where you are flying; the longer the distance, the costlier it gets.

  • At time-of-flight purchase: $36-$57
  • At time of check-in: $42-$68
  • At the airport: $57-$80

Seat selection starts at $10, increasing in price if you wish for more legroom, like exit seats. Snacks and drinks also cost extra. 

Swoop is best used if travelling alone and lightly, as the additional costs increase. 

Air Canada Rouge

Air Canada is the parent company of Air Canada Rouge, and ticket prices depend on where you are flying to. Still, it is significantly lower than Air Canada’s prices. In addition, they offer more destinations because of their association with Air Canada, which is excellent if the other budget-friendly airlines fly to somewhere other than where you wish to go. For example, most flights depart from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and Montreal’s International Airport. 

  • Destinations: Across Canada, the U.S., the Caribbeans, Mexico, Central & South America, and Europe.
  • Fleets: 39
  • Airports: Airbus A321-200, Airbus A320-200, and Airbus A319-100

Low-cost airlines offer premium economy, an upgrade that gets you more legroom and boarding priorities. Air Canada Rouge does not provide in-flight entertainment like Air Canada, so bring a book or portable device to keep you entertained. There are iPads to rent for $10 if you need them. They also do not offer USB charging ports, so make sure your devices are 100% charged! If you purchase a ticket in Premium Economy, you also get free Wi-Fi.

Longer flights like those to Europe come with non-alcoholic beverages and a complimentary meal; on shorter flights, you will have to pay for meals and alcoholic drinks.

You are allowed to bring one small personal item and a standard carry-on. Additional costs to the checked baggage allowance depend on your ticket purchased. You will have to pay $30 each if it is not included. 

So, if you wish to travel to Central & South America or Europe on a budget. This might be the airline for you since other airlines do not always offer these destinations.


Porter Airlines recently restarted its service after stopping due to COVID-19. They were a popular budget-friendly airline before the pandemic and will most likely continue to be popular among Canadians. 

  • Destinations: Locations in Canada and the U.S.
  • Fleets: 29
  • Airplanes: Dash 8-400

Their one-way flights are around $150, but discounts are available. 

Porter offers four different fare options:

  • Basic,
  • Standard,
  • Flexible, 
  • And Freedom.

The Basic option gets you a flight seat and an allowance of one personal item with all other things being checked. At the same time, the alternatives accept two carry-on bags.

For checked baggage, all options, except Freedom, require an additional cost ranging from $27-$43. Freedom fare offers free checked bags. Like Swoop, the checked baggage prices increase as you get closer to your departure time and day. 

A difference with Porter is they offer complimentary in-flight services such as alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks at no additional costs. 

They mainly fly from Toronto’s Island airport, the Billy Bishop, to cities like New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Quebec City & Montreal. They hope to fly out of the Pearson International Airport in 2023, going all the way to Vancouver. 


Sunwing travels to sunny destinations and offers vacation packages making the whole planning process easier! Those who choose a vacation package receive more extras, like having your first checked luggage included in the ticket price.

  • Destinations: Caribbean, Mexico, the U.S., and Central America
  • Fleets: 40+
  • Airplanes: Boeing 737-800

Without a vacation package, checked baggage is $50 both ways. Sunwing allows one personal item; however, additional ones will be an extra charge of $25. There are more options for more perks at additional costs.

Air Transat

Air Transat also offers multiple destinations to travel to. However, they are a chartered airline, still much less expensive than other airlines. Like Air Canada Rouge, flights to Europe have in-flight meals; for other closer destinations, there are additional charges for food and drinks. If you have the Air Transat app, you can access entertainment on the flight. However, you will need to bring your own device. 

  • Destinations: Canada, the U.S., Europe, Central & South America, Mexico and the Caribbeans
  • Fleets: 31
  • Airplanes: Airbus A321-200, Airbus A330-200, Airbus A330-300, and Airbus A321LR

They also have good quality airports, in-flight products, excellent staff, and cleanliness. Quality service is their main priority. 

Checked baggage allowance does depend on the ticket you purchased; however, you are allowed a personal item and a standard carry-on.

Top New Airlines in Canada on A Budget

New airlines need help staying in business since it can be costly. There still exists some airlines that have few planes and do often have complications with delays and cancellations. However, they are still budget friendly. 


OWG stands for Off We Go, and they do not consider themselves low-cost. They wish to give their customers a “High Love” experience. On their flights, you will have access to meals and bar services. You will also have the option for seating based on three zones:

  • Destinations: Toronto, Montreal, Cuba, Mexico
  • The High Zone – passengers flying alone (singles)
  • The Love Zone – flying with a friend or a significant other (couples)
  • The Heart Zone – flying with a group or with your family (families)

OWG also deals with an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, making it easier to plan your trip!

Canada Jetlines

Jetlines fly to sunny areas in the U.S. and Mexico on a budget to give Canadians a nice break from the winter. However, they are hoping to have more fleets by 2025, around 15, meaning it is an airline to put on the back burner.

  • Destinations: Locations in Canada, the U.S and Mexico.
  • Fleet: 2
  • Airplane: Airbus A320

The average for a one-way is around $104-$121.

Lynx Air

Lynx Air flies to popular destinations like Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary for a low cost and, thankfully, to the main airports. A famous flight is the daily one to Vancouver from Toronto for a low price. 

  • Destinations: Locations in Canada and the U.S.
  • Fleets: 24
  • Airplanes: Boeing 737 MAX 8 & Boeing 737-800

Lynx Air’s average one-way flight is around $59-$109.

When you book your ticket, you can choose if you want priority boarding or seat selection. You must pay extra, but you will know what you are paying for. The ticket does include a personal item to be stowed under the seat.

Additional baggage will be $39+ and depends on where you are travelling to and how close to your departure the extra baggage is bought. However, you can save 33% if you buy your luggage allowance early!

Other popular destinations are Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

Which Airline Is For You?

Travelling has become more popular since COVID-19; however, because of COVID-19, only a few people have the funds to travel. Airlines have understood this and have begun to offer more budget-friendly travel options. The destination options within Canada and the U.S., with Mexico and the Caribbean being the more popular options. 

New airlines are constantly popping up but do your research before choosing those. Fortunately, existing airlines often have promotions with hotels, making travelling a lot easier. 

Something to consider is the loyalty programs attached to a couple of the airlines mentioned above. If you regularly travel, having a loyalty program can be incredibly beneficial. Unfortunately, they are not expected for budget airlines. Here are what is offered:

  • Air Canada Rouge: Aeroplan
  • Porter: VIPorter

Picking your airline means thinking about where you are flying to, how comfortable you wish to be and how much luggage you want to bring. Something to remember is whether you need transportation or hotels since affordable airlines are affordable yet only provide the basics. If you prefer more perks, choosing a more popular and well-known airline may be the same as adding the perks separately. 

It is also essential to remember the time of year you wish to fly and the demand for flights, as peak travel times like the summer and winter holidays tend to cost more. The currency exchange rate is another important factor since it can bring the cost up or down depending on where you travel. 

To travel on a budget, it is best to be flexible with the time of year you wish to travel, compare prices with other airlines, plan ahead and sometimes subscribing to airline newsletters can help you know when they have discounts. 

To get the best match for you, research and read reviews beforehand to ensure you get the best deal!