WestJet vs Air Canada; The two major players of the Canadian aviation

The two major players of the Canadian aviation industry, WestJet and Air Canada have always been the hot topic for savvy travelers. Although there are other major airlines in the country sharing the same market like Air Transat, Porter Airlines, Flair Airlines including others, the battle of services and amenities between WestJet and Air Canada seems to be on a different level. With millions of loyal customers worldwide, the big fishes of the Canadian aviation industry are known for their impeccable services and quality.

WestJet vs Air Canada

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So, in order to make the comparison a little bit easy, we have prepared a complete list of WestJet vs Air Canada on every aspect from lounges, customer care, food, entertainment kits, to hygiene, and many more. Follow the list to find out the true winner. 

Travel Destinations

Let’s kick start the WestJet vs Ari Canada comparison with their reach and wide network of service destinations. According to the data collected by Skyscanner, Air Canada serves more than 200 travel destinations in over 50 countries, including 64 domestic destinations.

Air Canada Boeing 787
Air Canada Boeing 787 with slogan Fly the flag departing Vancouver from Toronto : Photo by Tom Podolec Aviation

Similarly, WestJet also operates in over 100 destinations in more than 26 including Europe, the US, Mexico, Central American, and the Caribbean.

WestJet vs Air Canada

Although the reach of WestJet is not as wide as the national carrier, the airline is consistently adding new destinations to the list of its services, so it might catch up with the national carrier pretty soon. For now, the point goes to the national carrier in the WestJet vs Air Canada comparison, with as much as double service network than the private carrier.

Fleet Size

The biggest airline in the Canadian aviation industry is the national carrier, Air Canada itself, the national carrier operated with 157 aircraft across its fleet in June 2021. The national carrier has a diverse aircrafts fleet including several variants of both Airbus and Boeing like 24 of the Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 6 of Boeing 777-200LR, 19 Boeing 777-300ER and 8 of the Boeing 787-8s, and 29 of Boeing 787-9s, including the 22 Airbus A220-300s, 18 of the Airbus A320s, 15 of Airbus A321s and 16 of Airbus A330-300s.

On the other hand, the relatively new long-haul private carrier runs its operation with Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 737 MAX, Boeing Next-Generation 737s (both 800s and 700s), and Disney-Themed 737 aircraft. According to the data provided by the Ch-aviation, WestJet’s fleet consists of a total of 167 aircraft. It is an impressive number considering the service network of the private carrier; although the national carrier may take the point on the high network service, the new innovative airline surpasses Air Canada on the number of operational air vessels. WestJet for its first win in WestJet vs Air Canada comparison.

Airport Services

In the aspects of the airport service, from check-in to boarding procedures, both of the airlines have pretty similar check-in and boarding processes. WestJet and Air Canada both require the passengers to check-in at least 90 minutes before the national flight and 120 minutes prior check of the international routes like United States, Mexico, and Caribbean regions.


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The passengers from both airlines also can have access to online check-ins that need to be completed 24 hours before the departure, and for the airport kiosk check-ins, Air Canada has set 12 hours prior limit meanwhile, it’s 24 hours for WestJet. Air Canada accepts the passengers’ baggage 4 hours prior to the departure on the flight leaving for the US and 3 hours generally for other destinations. Similarly, WestJet accepts the passenger’s baggage 3 hours prior to the flights. So, WestJet vs Air Canada comparison on the airport service is pretty much identical.

In-Flight Experience

One of the major differences in the in-flight experience while flying with WestJet and Air Canada is that the entrainment kits on WestJet’s aircraft are pretty much outdated. As the private carrier operates its services with the majority of Boeing 737s in its domestic flights, the older variant aircraft are equipped with an older entertainment system or no system at all in few aircraft. On the contrary, Air Canada offers an inflight entertainment system for the majority of its domestic operation even if some of its entertainment kits are gradually getting outdated.

WestJet Seating arrangement

Similarly, on the food and services aspects, both of the airlines offer complimentary snack and beverage and purchasable options on the domestic haul. In the case of the long-haul flights, the Boeing 787 from WestJet only offers complimentary meals in economy-class flights to the European regions. But, ‘Air Canada Bistro Menu’ offers a wider variety of meals and snacks without compromising in the quality and freshness. Even in the economy class flights to North American and Caribbean regions, Air Canada offers heart and nutritious breakfast options, hot and cold meal options, including complimentary fresh Lavazza coffee, tea, and juice. Air Canada passengers can also save up to 50% of the cost on the in-flight menu meals if they pre-purchase vouchers online.

Thus, the impeccable in-flight services provided by Air Canada are pretty flexible and more dynamic compared to the in-flight services of the WestJet airline, which points to the national carrier in the WestJet vs Air Canada debate.

Lounge Service

The on-ground services provided by both airlines are as significant as the in-flight amenities on the air. Air Canada, which has won the Skytrax award for the ‘Best Business Class Lounge Dining’ in 2019, certainly doesn’t compromise in any aspects when it comes to keeping the passengers happy. In partnership with Star Alliance, the national carrier’s Maple Lounges are available in 16 airports across Canada, the United States, and Europe. The Maple Lounge offers various facilities to its eligible guest complimentary drinks and meals, showers, bathrooms, newspapers & magazines, premium entertainment choices, including cell-free and quiet zones.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Club

Relating to the WestJet vs Air Canada comparison, the private carrier offers seven partnered lounges across Canada. Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg ad Quebec are some major destinations where the airline provides premium lounge services to eligible passengers. Although its international network isn’t as big as the national carrier, WestJet’s passengers can also enjoy the deluxe services of My Lounge and No! Lounge at London Gatwick Airport and Club Kington & Club MoBay services In Jamaica

Air Canada takes this round with its widespread network of lounge services and premium services. 

Final Verdict

Although both airlines came pretty neck-to-neck in the WestJet vs Air Canada comparison with pretty identical airports service and fleet sizes, the national carrier toppled the game in the destination, lounge, and in-flight services category.

In addition to that, Air Canada also offers superior Covid-19 amenities, including hygiene and sanitization processes with in-app check-in services, touch-free bag services, and implementing new standards for lounge marinating the safety protocols. Introducing the CleanCare+, Air Canada is assuring the safety of the passengers at every stage of the journey, including the contact tracing protocol to ensure safety. WestJet recognized as one of the ‘Top 20 Most Covid Compliant Airlines in the World’ by AirlineRatings in 2021, isn’t that far from implementing standard services and amenities to tackle the current Covid-19 situation.

Even though WestJet is gradually strengthening itself as a wholesome carrier to be one of the big fish in the Canadian aviation industry, it hasn’t quite yet reached the level of Air Canada; the discourse goes to Air Canada in the WestJet vs Air Canada discussion for its superior and well-managed all-around services and amenities.

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