Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
OTTAWA — A new Open Skies-type agreement has just been signed between Canada and the United Kingdom, which encourages long-term, sustainable competition and the development of international air services.
Canada’s Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, said the new agreement will allow any number of Canadian and British air carriers to operate between both countries, and gives those airlines full flexibility on route selection (including via third countries), frequency of service, and pricing.
Moreover, the agreement also includes unrestricted rights for all-cargo services as well as codeshare services.
It will take effect when the U.K. is no longer covered by the Canadian -European Union Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement.
“The United Kingdom is one of our largest air travel markets as well as a key trading partner and valued ally. I am pleased with the conclusion of this Open Skies-type agreement, which will ensure that air services continue uninterrupted when the United Kingdom is no longer covered by the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement,” said Garneau. “This agreement is an expression of our robust long-standing air transport relationship and it will continue to support tourism, trade and investment between Canada and the United Kingdom.”
James Gordon Carr, Canada’s Minister of International Trade Diversification, added: “It reinforces confidence for millions of friends and families travelling between our two great nations and ensures that Canadian exporters will continue to benefit from critical air transport services across the Atlantic for their goods and services.”
The new agreement was reached under Canada’s Blue Sky policy, which has resulted in the Government of Canada concluding new or expanded air transport agreements covering 105 countries.