UAE's Ambassador to Canada Mohammed Abdullah al-Ghafli expressed disappointment at Canada’s refusal to grant additional landing rights to UAE carriers, adding that the decision would affect relations between the countries (WAM/The National, 10-Oct-2010). UAE carriers, including Emirates and Etihad, have been seeking new landing slots in Canada, contending that the six weekly flights permitted are not enough to cover demand. Transport Canada and Air Canada opposed granting more slots on concerns that the UAE carriers would affect Air Canada’s traffic to cities such as Frankfurt. Meanwhile, Emirates rejected claims by Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu that the carriers' expansion plans would harm the country’s airports and airlines, stating that an increase of frequency on the existing three times weekly Dubai-Toronto service would would “offer a boon for the Canadian economy by growing a key market and region of the world that is currently underserviced” (Arabian Supply Chain, 10-Oct-2010). Mr Rovinescu previously warned that Emirates wanted to “flood” Canadian airspace with seats to take more travellers and divert them through Dubai.
UAE Government: "It is unfortunate that this process has been so protracted and frustrating. The UAE is disappointed that despite intensive negotiations over the last five years, the UAE and Canada have been unable to arrive at an agreement on expanding the number of flights between the two countries ... With 27,000 Canadians living in the UAE, and a significant trade relationship as well as 200 Canadian companies active in the UAE today, six flights per week does not service the economic needs of both countries or the potential for growth," Mohammed Abdullah al-Ghafli, Ambassador to Canada. Source: The National, 10-Oct-2010.