European Union and Canada signed (17-Dec-2009) the EU-Canada Air Transport Agreement, with all 27 EU member states signing the agreement. The agreement is the largest and most comprehensive that Canada has ever negotiated. Details include:
- Access/Pricing: EU airlines are now able to operate direct services to Canada from anywhere in Europe. The Agreement also removes all restrictions on routes, prices, or the number of weekly services between Canada and the EU. Other traffic rights will be liberalised gradually in parallel with the opening up of investment opportunities;
- Investment: The end product will be that EU undertakings or citizens will be able to freely invest in Canadian airlines and vice versa;
- Environment: Both sides agreed to closely cooperate in order to mitigate the effects of aviation on climate change;
- Safety/Security: The agreement envisages mutual recognition of standards and one-stop security. This will facilitate the operations for airlines and airports, and reduce inconvenience for passengers. The text provides for a strong mechanism to ensure that airlines cannot be discriminated against in terms of access to infrastructure or state subsidies'
- Aviation/Tourism partners: The opening of the aviation markets is expected to bring economic benefits of at least EUR72 million and more than 1,000 direct jobs in the first year. An additional 3.5 million passengers are expected to make use of the opportunities of an open aviation area between Canada and the EU within the first few years. [more - European Union] [more - Canadian Transport Ministry]
European Union: "The new agreement makes the EU-Canada market one of the most open in the world and is a milestone for EU-Canada relations. It is an important sign that the EU and Canada are acting, not to close down their markets, but to remove barriers and improve links between people and businesses", Antonio Tajani, Commission Vice-President responsible for transport. Source: Company Statement, 17-Dec-2009.
Canadian Government: "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,", 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 and new opportunities for Canadian businesses by 2010," John Baird, Transport Minister. Source: Company Statement, 17-Dec-2009.