August 05, 2009 16:31 ET

Canada and South Africa Reach Blue Sky Air Transport Agreement

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 5, 2009) - Canada's Transport Minister, John Baird, and Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, Stockwell Day, today announced the successful conclusion of an air transport agreement with the Government of the Republic of South Africa. This first-time bilateral agreement allows scheduled direct air services to be operated between Canada and South Africa.

"South Africa is the 48th country since 2006 with which our Government has signed or updated an air agreement," said Minister Baird. "Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our Government has moved forward at this unprecedented pace because ultimately travellers and shippers want choice in destinations, flights and routes, and better options for lower fares."

"The agreement will permit our citizens to fly more easily to South Africa, a regional hub for trade and investment," said Minister Day. "We are opening doors around the world for Canadian business and these air transport agreements encourage and support economic activity at home and abroad."

The agreement provides rights for airlines to operate passenger and all-cargo flights between the two countries with routing and pricing flexibility. Airlines may also choose to offer air services using the flights of other airlines, commonly known as code-sharing services. The agreement contains strong provisions dealing with aviation safety and security, reflecting the importance that both countries attach to these subjects.

The provisions of the agreement are being applied administratively prior to final signature of the agreement. This allows new air services to be introduced immediately.

Canada's Blue Sky policy encourages competition and the development of new and expanded international air services to benefit Canadian travellers, shippers, and the tourism and business sectors.

Since January 2006, the Government of Canada signed or updated Air Service Agreements with 48 countries:

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

- Six expanded agreements: Portugal, Mexico, Japan, Jordan, Singapore and Philippines;

- Six new agreements: Algeria, Kuwait, Serbia, Croatia, Panama and Turkey; and

- A comprehensive air transport agreement between Canada and the European Union's 27 Member States. This includes Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia with which Canada did not previously have air agreements.

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Contact Information

  • Chris Day
    Press Secretary
    Office of Canada's Transport Minister,
    John Baird, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    Transport Canada, Ottawa