Accumulating evidence suggests that air pollution is a risk factor for adverse respiratory and cardiovascular health outcomes. However, the different impacts of exposure to air pollutants on influenza virus activity and influenza-like illness (ILI) have not been well documented in epidemiological studies. We examined the association between air pollutants of particular matters 2.5 μm (PM2.5), particular matters 10 μm (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and influenza occurrences in Hefei, China, from December 2013 to December 2015 by generalized Poisson additive regression models. The result suggested that PM2.5 and PM10 had similar effects on clinical ILI and influenza incidence. PM10 was negatively associated with clinical ILI (relative risk (RR) 0.980, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.974-0.987), while PM2.5 were positively associated with clinical ILI (RR 1.040; 95% CI 1.032-1.049). RRs for the laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza were 0.813 (95% CI, 0.755-0.875) for PM10 and 1.216 (95% CI, 1.134-1.304) for PM2.5. Nevertheless, the impacts of SO2 and NO2 on ILI and influenza were distinct. SO2 had significant influence on laboratory-confirmed influenza and had no significant linear relationship with ILI. NO2 was negatively correlated with influenza but had no obvious effect on clinical ILI cases. The present study contributes novel evidence on understanding of the effects of various air pollutants on influenza activities, and these findings can be useful and important for the development of influenza surveillance and early warning systems.