Canada announces Open Skies agreement with Barbados



    OTTAWA, March 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The governments of Canada and Barbados
have negotiated an Open Skies-type air transport agreement to increase trade
and tourism between the two countries. The agreement was announced today by
the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, and the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International
Trade, and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler
Olympics.
    "This is Canada's first Open Skies-type agreement in the Caribbean region
and signals another step forward in providing greater flexibility for air
services for passengers, businesses, air carriers and airports," said Minister
Cannon. "I am pleased with the outcome of these negotiations, marking another
bilateral air services agreement achieved under Canada's Blue Sky policy."
    The new agreement allows airlines to provide scheduled air services as
frequently as desired between cities in Canada and Barbados. This agreement
also allows airlines to react quickly to market conditions by more effectively
adjusting prices. In addition, airlines from both countries have greater
flexibility in offering flights (passenger and cargo) to and from third
countries, with the gradual phase-out of all limitations.
    "Canada greatly values its close, long-standing relationship with
Barbados," said Minister Emerson. "Canada is celebrating the 100th anniversary
of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service's presence in Barbados this year.
The new agreement will provide a stronger basis for competitive air services.
We anticipate this will generate even more growth in trade, tourism and
investment."
    The new agreement also provides all-cargo air carriers with greater
options to facilitate and expedite the flow of cargo between both countries,
and third countries, including those of the Caricom region. Caricom countries
include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada,
Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia,
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
    This new agreement builds on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to the
Caribbean region in July 2007, when he outlined Canada's re-engagement in the
Americas as a critical, long-term international priority for the government.
    In 2007, trade between Canada and Caricom members, including Barbados,
was $2.2 billion, a 20-per-cent increase from 2006. Canadian merchandise
exports to Caricom totalled $725 million and merchandise imports from Caricom
totalled $1.47 billion. In 2006, 25,600 Canadians travelled to Barbados. The
Caricom region received more than 251,100 Canadian tourists in 2006.
    The new provisions are applied immediately. Once ratified, the new
agreement will replace the 1985 agreement currently in force.




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
Lynn Meahan, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of International Trade,
and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics,
(613) 992-7332; Media Relations: Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055;
Trade Media Relations Office: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada,
(613) 996-2000, www.international.gc.ca; Transport Canada is online at
www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at
apps.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up to date on the latest from Transport
Canada. This news release may be made available in alternative formats for
persons with visual disabilities.


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