Canada's Airports Encouraged by Progress in Singapore Air Regime - CAC encourages Canadian government rather to pursue Open Skies agreements



    OTTAWA, Nov. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Airports Council today said it
was encouraged that the new Canada-Singapore air service agreement will create
new air service opportunities between Canada and Singapore. Although not an
Open Skies agreement, Canada's airports now have something on which to build.
Pursuit of Open Skies is a key aim of the federal government's new Blue Sky
international air policy.
    "The new agreement between Canada and Singapore opens to Canadian
international travellers and shippers one of the world's biggest transit hubs
for flights through Asia-Pacific," said CAC President and CEO Jim Facette.
"Canada's airports believe it will lead to new opportunities for air service
between the two countries and increased competition to Asia-Pacific, but are
disappointed that the Canadian government did not achieve an Open Skies
agreement such as the ones it already has concluded with the U.S., Britain,
Iceland, Ireland and New Zealand."
    The city state of Singapore is host to one of the world's busiest transit
hub airports, Singapore Changi International, which handled some 35 million
passengers last year. Under the new agreement, any Canadian or Singaporean
carrier will be able to fly between Singapore and any point in Canada without
restrictions on frequency or capacity. The agreement also contains provisions
for all-cargo service.
    According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade,
in 2006, two-way trade between Canada and Singapore totalled $1.7 billion, and
Singapore was the third-biggest destination for Canadian investment in Asia
after Japan and Hong Kong.(1)
    Changi Airport currently is served by 81 airlines operating some 4,220
weekly scheduled flights to 192 cities in 59 countries. Changi also is the
ninth busiest cargo airport in the world, handling some 1.9 million tonnes.(2)
    An Open Skies agreement would have eliminated restrictions on pricing and
allowed carriers from both countries to exercise "fifth freedoms" - the
ability to pick up passengers and carry them on to a third destination. Open
Skies is a key goal of Canada's airports in upcoming talks with the
European Union scheduled for later this month.
    "As Canada prepares to engage in Open Skies talks with the EU later this
month, Canada's airports urge the government to continue its pace for reform
by seeking no less that an Open Aviation Agreement across the North Atlantic
similar to the one concluded between the EU and the U.S.," said Mr. Facette.

    About the Canadian Airports Council

    The Canadian Airports Council (CAC) is the voice for Canada's airports.
Its 47 members represent more than 180 airports, including all of the National
Airports System (NAS) airports and most significant municipal airports in
every province and territory. Together, CAC members handle virtually all of
the nation's air cargo and international passenger traffic and 95% of domestic
passenger traffic. They create well in excess of $30 billion in economic
activity in the communities they serve. And more than 150,000 jobs are
directly associated with CAC member airports, generating a payroll of more
than $8 billion annually.

    
    (1) DFAIT Opening Doors to the World - Canada's International Market
        Access Report 2007
    (2) Civil Aviation Administration of Singapore and Airline Business'
        Airline Industry Guide 2006/07
    




For further information:

For further information: Daniel-Robert Gooch, Director of
Communications, Canadian Airports Council, (613) 560-9302, ext 16,
daniel.gooch@cacairports.ca


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