February 07, 2010 12:00 ET

Canada Announces More Air Travel Options in the Caribbean

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 7, 2010) - Canada's Transport Minister, John Baird, and the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today announced that effective immediately airlines can provide more flight options between Canada and the Caribbean.

Canada has successfully concluded an expanded air services agreement with Cuba, allowing more airlines from both countries to immediately operate scheduled air services between any Canadian and Cuban cities. In fact, effective today two additional Canadian airlines will be able to apply to the Canadian Transportation Agency to offer new flights between Canada and Cuba. Minister Baird also announced the designation of an additional Canadian airline, effective immediately to offer new flights between Canada and Trinidad and Tobago.

"In the past few years, the Government of Canada has moved at an incredible pace to negotiate new or expanded international air service agreements, and today's announcement provides even greater options for Canadians traveling south," said Baird. "Over the past four years, we have worked to provide airlines with more flexibility to increase the number of convenient flights and cheaper fares to help travellers, businesses, shippers and the tourism industry."

"Canada is leading the way in creating better trade and travel links throughout the Americas and the world," said Minister Van Loan."Today's announcement builds on the agreements we have signed or updated since 2006, which now totals nearly 50 countries including with Barbados, Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Mexico."

Minister Baird announced the designation of WestJet and Sunwing to operate scheduled international air services between Canada and Cuba. He also took the opportunity to announce the designation of WestJet to operate scheduled international air services between Canada and Trinidad and Tobago. The carrier plans to introduce seasonal daily service from Toronto to the Port of Spain as of May 2010.

Since January 2006, the Government of Canada has negotiated open, new or expanded air service agreements with nearly 50 countries:

- Open skies-type agreements with eight countries: the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and South Korea;

- Expanded agreements with eight countries: Portugal, Mexico, Japan, Jordan, Singapore, the Philippines, Morocco and Cuba;

- New "first-time" agreements with eight countries: Algeria, Kuwait, Serbia, Croatia, Panama, Turkey, South Africa and Ethiopia; 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

  • Monika Bujalska
    Office of Canada's International Trade Minister,
    the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Ottawa
    Trade Media Relations Office
    Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
    James Kusie
    Office of Canada's Transport Minister John Baird
    Media Relations
    Transport Canada, Ottawa