22-Nov-2010 1:23 PM

Emirates defends proposal for extra capacity in Canada

Emirates Airlines President Tim Clark rejected claims made by Canada's Government House Leader and former Transport Minister John Baird in the House of Commons that "tens of thousands of jobs" would have been lost if the government granted UAE carriers more landing rights in Canada (The Canadian Press/AFP/Bloomberg/AFP/Arabian Business, 21-Nov-2010). Mr Clark added that the carrier is not seeking to "swap" Canada with large amounts of capacity. Defence Minister Peter MacKay separately stated the government's decision on the landing rights issue caused a rift in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet and suggested it would take 10 years to heal relations with the UAE. Canada was forced last month to close a military base in Dubai that was part of a key supply route to Afghanistan after refusing to grant the UAE's two national carriers, Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways, more landing rights.

Emirates: "With regards to the potential for 'tens of thousands of jobs' losses, Emirates has difficulty in understanding this assertion. We can assure the Canadian government that the increased presence of Emirates in Canada will only deliver favourable benefits to the Canadian economy and in particular to the travelling public. Emirates does not seek to swamp Canada with large amounts of capacity; in fact, a fair approach to frequency growth was the proposal recently tabled," Tim Clark, President. Source: The Canadian Press, 21-Nov-2010.  

Canada Government: "We had negotiations with the United Arab Emirates. The offer that was on the table was not in the best interest of Canada. It would have cost Canada literally tens of thousands of jobs. That is why we said no," John Baird, Government House leader and former Transport Minister. Source: AFP, 21-Nov-2010.

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