Bilateral Air Relations Between Canada and Foreign Countries
On November 27, 2006, the Blue Sky policy was officially adopted by the Government of Canada. Since its inception, the Blue Sky policy has become an important vehicle to promote connectivity between all Canadian regions and the world. It has also provided Canadian consumers with more choices in terms of destinations and number of direct flights.
The Blue Sky policy calls for a proactive approach to the liberalization of Air Transport Agreements (ATAs). In particular, it seeks to negotiate reciprocal Open Skies-type agreements when it is in Canada's overall interest to do so. It does not advocate a "one-size-fits-all" undifferentiated approach to air transport negotiations and recognizes that, in some instances, it is justified to be more prudent, especially where there are level-playing field concerns or where new services run the risk of destabilizing existing ones valued by Canadian communities.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada and Transport Canada are jointly responsible to advance the air transport negotiations agenda with foreign countries.
Achievements under the Blue Sky Policy: A Snapshot
Since November 2006, Canada has concluded new or expanded Air Transport Agreements covering over 80 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 20 countries: Algeria, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey.
- New first-time agreements with 21 countries: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, Gambia, Kenya, Kuwait, Macedonia, Paraguay, Qatar, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia and Uruguay.
- A comprehensive ATA between Canada and the European Union’s 28 member states (includes Ireland and Croatia).
For a full list of Canada’s ATAs, please consult the Canadian Transportation Agency website.
Looking into the Future
Canada will continue to negotiate new and expanded agreements to promote the interests of Canadian consumers, as well as our trade and tourism sectors.
The Global Markets Action Plan recognizes the important role that targeted, high-quality air transport agreements have in improving “international connectivity” for Canadians (that is, the ability to reach international destinations from various points in Canada) and enhancing market access for passenger and cargo services.
Point of Contact
The Office of the Chief Air Negotiator (ANA)
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2
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