There are countries with a number of airports, not of which are particularly big, but sum of all the airports together can support a good sized airline. It may be smaller country like Dominican Republic, or a bigger one, like Russia, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Mexico.
The new basing rules make these countries a lot more attractive, a lot more countries can keep the players busy, engaged to the end of the Game World.
Also, a player who is opening level 3 or 4 bases all over the place is adding a lot of cost. Just because his airline may be big today, he may not even be around tomorrow, if his airlines crumbles under the weight of all the costs.
If you are just starting right now, I would look around extremely carefully in selecting the starting airport, and I would probably cross Canada off the list completely at this time.
There is always the Beginners world scenario with less competition, or some of the long running games that have lost a lot off players, with some airports almost empty. That's where I would be looking for to get a less competitive game play.