Government of Canada announces new air agreement with Panama



    OTTAWA, June 19 /CNW Telbec/ - A new air transport agreement with the
Republic of Panama, a long-standing bilateral partner in Central America, was
announced today by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of
Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway
and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics.
    The agreement puts in place a new, modern framework for scheduled air
services between Canada and Panama, consistent with Canada's Blue Sky policy.
    "The new agreement will benefit passengers, businesses, air carriers and
airports through a greater range of travel options," said Minister Cannon. "I
am pleased to announce the conclusion of a new air transport agreement with
the Republic of Panama, a close bilateral partner of Canada."
    Airlines from both countries can serve any point in each others'
territory, with greater flexibility for establishing airfares, and greater
certainty surrounding operational business issues. The agreement also includes
strong safety and security provisions, reflecting the importance both
countries attach to these subjects.
    "Canada greatly values its long-standing relationship with Panama," said
Minister Emerson. "This achievement further reflects this government's
commitment to open new air links with key bilateral partners to facilitate
growth in trade, investment and tourism."
    With air travel, trade and investment between Canada and Panama growing,
this agreement marks another step forward in Canada's engagement in the
Americas. The agreement also complements Canada's recently launched
exploratory discussions with Panama on a possible Free Trade Agreement. In
2007, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Panama totaled
$115 million, with Canadian exports accounting for $86.4 million and imports
totaling $28.7 million. From 2005 to 2007, Canadian merchandise exports to
Panama increased 44 per cent.
    Air carriers from both countries have shown an interest in operating
scheduled air services between Canada and Panama, and are currently reviewing
their plans in light of the new agreement.




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 Foreign Affairs and
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/index.aspx; Transport Canada is online at
www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news
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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