Expanding Air Links with China

July 4, 2013 - Beijing - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced the successful conclusion of an expanded air transport agreement with China.

“Our government is focused on jobs, growth and concrete ways to increase trade and tourism,” said Baird. “This agreement is good news for travellers, shippers and Canada’s aviation industry as a whole.”

The amendments to the agreement will give airlines the flexibility to offer more travel options and help Canadian airports attract new flight links, which will help to create economic opportunities in Canada and China.

Bilateral trade with China reached record levels in 2012, and China is now Canada’s second-largest export destination after the United States.

“Increasing ties with the Asia-Pacific region is absolutely vital to Canada’s future prosperity,” said Baird. “Our government gets that in a way no previous government has. This is just the latest example of that.”

Baird made today’s announcement while on his fourth visit to China, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Expanded Canada-China Air Transport Agreement

Today’s announcement builds on the Canada-China Air Transport Agreement, which was last amended in 2011. More specifically, the newly amended agreement:

  • increases the number of flights permitted for services between Canada and China;
  • increases the number of destination points in each other’s territories;
  • enhances the ability of airlines in China to offer passenger and all-cargo services to third countries, in connection with services to Canada; and
  • provides greater flexibility and certainty with respect to code-sharing with partner airlines from third countries.

The provisions contained within the expanded air transport agreement are immediately available to airlines in both countries.

The Government of Canada’s approach to expanding its air transport relationship with China is consistent with Canada’s Blue Sky policy, which encourages long-term, sustainable competition and the development of new or expanded international air services. Under this policy, the Government of Canada has concluded new or expanded air transport agreements covering more than 70 countries, including:

  • Open Skies-type agreements with 16 countries: Barbados, Brazil, Costa Rica, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Sint Maarten, South Korea, Switzerland, and Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Expanded agreements with 15 countries: Algeria, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Turkey.
  • First-time agreements with 17 countries: Bahrain, Colombia, Croatia, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Kenya, Kuwait, Panama, Paraguay, Qatar, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia and Uruguay.
  • A comprehensive air transport agreement between Canada and the European Union’s 27 member states.

For additional information, please visit The Blue Sky Policy: Made in Canada, for Canada.

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