December 17, 2009 15:03 ET

Canada Will Sign Its Most Comprehensive Air Agreement Ever

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2009) - Canada's Transport Minister, John Baird, today announced that Canada's air transport agreement with all 27 European Union (EU) Member States will be signed and finalized tomorrow in Canada. This agreement is the largest and most comprehensive that Canada has ever negotiated, and concludes the process first launched by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"Our government has moved at an unprecedented pace since 2006 to negotiate or expand air travel agreements with other countries, and we are proud to now be signing our largest ever with the European Union," said Baird. "For the first time, Canadian air carriers will be able to access and expand into all EU member states, and EU carriers will be able to expand into Canada. The result will be better air travel choices for Canadians and new opportunities for Canadian businesses by 2010."

"The EU is Canada's second largest bilateral aviation, trade and investment market. In 2008, Canadian exports to the EU totalled $52.2 billion, an increase of 3.9% from 2007. This comprehensive air transport agreement will help boost Canada's economy by creating new jobs, expanding our commercial links and building connections for our citizens," said Stockwell Day, Minister of Trade.

"The agreement will provide new opportunities for Canada's tourism industry, as new air carriers will be able to offer more choices in terms of destinations, flights and routes, more direct services, and the potential for lower fares," said Minister Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism).

The Canada-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement will allow any number of air carriers from Canada and the EU Member States to operate direct scheduled passenger and all-cargo air services to any cities between each partners' territory as frequently as desired. Air carriers will also be able to pick up traffic in each partners' territory and continue to a third country as part of a service to or from their home territory.

All 27 EU Member States signed the agreement today, and the agreement will arrive in Canada on December 18, 2009 for signing.

Since January 2006, the Government of Canada has negotiated open, new or expanded Air Service Agreements with nearly 50 countries including:

- Eight Open Skies-type agreements: United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and South Korea;

- Eight expanded agreements: Portugal, Mexico, Japan, Jordan, Singapore, Philippines, Cuba and Morocco;

- Seven new "first-time" agreements: Algeria, Kuwait, Serbia, Croatia, Panama, Turkey; and South Africa.

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Contact Information

  • James Kusie
    Director of Issues Management
    Office of Canada's Transport Minister John Baird
    Media Relations
    Transport Canada, Ottawa