Federal Transport Minister Jean Lapierre said Friday that Canada and the United States have negotiated
a deal to liberalize air travel rules.
The key part of the deal involves a revamping of the rules governing
Canadian and U.S. air carrier access to third country markets.
(CP FIle Photo)
The deal would make it easier for Canadian carriers to pick up
passengers in the U.S. and then fly on to a third country. U.S. carriers would also be allowed similar access in Canada.
The 1995 air services agreement between Canada and the United States created an open
regime for air services between the countries. However, there were constraints regarding air services between each other's
territory and third countries.
"This further liberalization of the Canada-U.S. air
transport relationship will allow airlines of both countries to better meet the needs of travellers and shippers," said Lapierre.
"It is my hope that this agreement will encourage the development of new markets, new services, lower prices and greater competition,"
The changes are scheduled to come into effect on Sept. 1, 2006.
The new deal does not clear the way for "cabotage" – which
would allow a U.S. airline to pick up passengers in one Canadian city and fly them to another Canadian city. Under that
scenario, Canadian carriers could also serve domestic routes in the United States.
"This new agreement with Canada's largest trade and
aviation partner will ensure the North American industry is in step with current international airline policies," said Robert
Milton, the CEO of Air Canada's parent company ACE Aviation Holdings Inc.
"It will create substantial benefits for consumers by generating
more choice and will contribute to the long-term health and competitiveness of our North American industry," Milton said.
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