Major Air Carriers Key Financial and Operating Statistics Monthly Survey

Detailed information for December 2016





Record number:


The survey collects the main financial and operating data from the Canadian air transport industry.

Data release - February 22, 2017


The survey collects the main financial and operating data from the Canadian air transport industry. The data are used by Transport Canada and the Canadian Transportation Agency for measuring growth and performance of the industry, and the impact of regulatory reform. The information is also used by Statistics Canada as input to the Canadian System of National Accounts and by individual carriers for measuring company performance relative to their competitors.

Statistical activity

This statistical activity is part of a set of surveys measuring various aspects of activities related to movement of people and goods. These surveys are grouped as follows:

Transportation by air includes records related to the movement of aircraft, passengers and cargo by air for both Canadian and foreign air carriers operating in Canada as well as the financial and operating characteristics of Canadian air carriers. These data are produced by the Aviation Statistics Centre.

Transportation by rail includes records relating to rail transportation in Canada and between the United States and Canada.

Transportation by road includes records relating to all road transport in Canada. In addition to surveying carriers and owners of registered motor vehicles, certain programs rely on aggregation of provincial and territorial administrative records.

Reference period: Month

Collection period: Data are collected between the first and fourteenth days of the month following the reference month.


  • Business performance and ownership
  • Financial statements and performance
  • Transportation
  • Transportation by air

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The universe of the Monthly Civil Aviation Survey consists of Canadian licensed carriers classified to level I. This includes every Canadian air carrier that, in the calendar year before the year in which information is provided, transported at least 2 million revenue passengers or at least 400 thousand tonnes of cargo.

Instrument design

The questionnaire for the Major Air Carriers Key Financial and Operating Statistics Monthly Survey has remained stable over the years, although the format and wording has been modified to maintain its relevance based on feedback from survey respondents and data users. The questionnaire collects information on main operating statistics (enplaned passengers, passenger-kilometers, available seat kilometers and goods tons kilometers) and financial statistics (total revenue and expenses, interest expenses) by type of service (unit toll and charter) and by sector (domestics, transborder and international).


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

The statistical reports are completed by the air carriers at their head office. The completed statements are sent electronically to the Aviation Statistics Centre of Statistics Canada where they are examined for completeness and reasonableness. In cases of incomplete or questionable data, the Aviation Statistics Centre contacts the air carrier by telephone or in writing to obtain missing data, corrections or explanations.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Upon receipt of the participating carriers' completed questionnaires, the data are edited. The edits are performed to check the quality and legitimacy of the information provided. Air carriers must file their data in accordance with the reporting procedures prepared by the Aviation Statistics Centre.


Given the small number of respondents, all data are reported.


This methodology type does not apply to this survey.

Quality evaluation

The evaluation of the quality of Major Air Carriers Key Financial and Operating Monthly Statistics includes the comparison with results of other Civil Aviation surveys conducted in the Aviation Statistics Centre. For each carrier, number of passengers, available seats, volume of goods carried, total revenue and expenses are compared to comparable statistics collected from the Air Carriers Operations in Canada Quarterly (survey record 2712) and Canadian Civil Aviation - Annual Report (survey record 2713) surveys. The evaluation of data quality also includes systematic cross-references to financial and operating information made available publicly by the air carriers.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Data for a specific industry or variable may be suppressed (along with that of a second industry or variable) if the number of enterprises in the population is too low.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Monthly estimates are provided for the reference month. The data for previous months are revised if necessary. Seasonal adjustments are not done.

Data accuracy

While considerable effort is made to ensure high standards throughout all stages of collection and processing, the resulting estimates are inevitably subject to a certain degree of error. These errors can be broken down into two major types: non-sampling and sampling. Since the survey is a census of the target population, only non-sampling errors are possible.

Non-sampling errors may occur for many reasons. For example, non-response is an important source of non-sampling error. Population coverage, differences in the interpretation of questions, incorrect information from respondents, and mistakes in recording, coding and processing data are other examples of non-sampling errors.

Non-sampling errors are controlled through a careful design of the questionnaire, the use of a minimal number of simple concepts and consistency checks. Coverage error was minimized by using multiple sources to update the frame. Measures such as response rates are used as indicators of the possible extent of non-sampling errors.

The response rate for this survey is 100%.

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