YVR Welcomes Latest Expansion to Canada's China Transit Program

Five cities added to visa-free program will encourage air service development at YVR

RICHMOND, BC, July 31, 2015 /CNW/ - Vancouver International Airport (YVR) welcomes the latest expansion to Canada's China Transit Program, announced today by the Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Effective immediately, five Chinese cities have been added to the list of approved Asian cities from which Chinese nationals can travel to YVR en route to the U.S. without requiring a Canadian visa.

The addition of Xiamen, Fuzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang and Harbin more than doubles the number of mainland Chinese cities in the program, and comes just months after Minister Alexander expanded the program to include Tokyo and Seoul in May 2015. Spearheaded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Minister Alexander worked closely with Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney to develop a system that would be economically beneficial for Canada while continuing to protect our borders. Under Minister Blaney's leadership, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) expedited the risk assessment of each of the five cities, helping accelerate today's program expansion. Eligibility criteria and the list of participating cities are available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.  

"Today's announcement delivers on the promise Minister Alexander made last May to further expand the program, heralding a tremendous opportunity for YVR to grow as a world-class, sustainable connecting hub," said Craig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. "This is exactly the kind of decisive policy action that YVR needs to continue providing opportunities for travel and trade, creating jobs and driving dollars into our economy."

For more than 20 years, Vancouver Airport Authority has been working with its partners to progressively expand visa-free transit between Asia and the Americas through YVR. Combining passengers destined for Canada with transiting passengers bound for the U.S. makes new routes commercially viable while contributing to British Columbia's economy. The expanding China Transit Program enables YVR to capitalize on its geographic advantage and continue to grow as North America's preferred connecting hub.

Airlines currently participating in the program are: Air Canada, Air Canada rouge, Air China, WestJet, Cathay Pacific, Philippine  Airlines, China Southern, Jazz Air, Sky Regional Airlines and Air Georgian.

"The addition of Chengdu, Fuzhou, Harbin, Shenyang and Xiamen to the China Transit Program means even greater choice and flexibility for eligible Chinese travelers transiting through Canada, as well as new business opportunities for participating airlines and airports," said Chris Alexander, Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.  We deeply value our people-to-people ties with China and the expansion of the CTP is yet another example of our government's commitment to this partnership."

"With the addition of five new cities to the China Transit Program, our government continues to demonstrate its commitment to facilitating legitimate trade and travel, "said Steven Blaney, Canada's Minister of Public Safety. This program will greatly support economic growth by attracting more transit business to Canada and ensuring our airlines remain competitive in the global market."

Since 2009, YVR has worked closely with the Government of Canada to ensure the program's success. In addition to the ongoing support from Minister Alexander and Minster Blaney, the program has received critical support from the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Minister of Transport, who endorses today's announcement.

About Vancouver Airport Authority
Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that manages Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Canada's second busiest airport, YVR served more than 19 million passengers in 2014. Fifty-three airlines serve YVR, connecting people and businesses to more than 110 non-stop destinations worldwide. YVR was voted Best Airport in North America for the sixth consecutive year, and Best Airport in the World for its size category of 10-20 million passengers, in the 2015 Skytrax World Airport Awards. Vancouver Airport Authority is a dedicated community partner and in 2014 donated more than $900,000 to local organizations. We are committed to creating an airport that British Columbia can be proud of: a premier global gateway, local economic generator and community contributor. For more information, please visit www.yvr.ca.

SOURCE Vancouver Airport Authority

For further information: YVR Media Relations, 604.880.9815, media_relations@yvr.ca, Twitter: @yvrairport


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