OTTAWA, Dec. 20 /CNW/ - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today announced that open skies-type air transport agreements have been concluded with both Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The new agreements give airlines additional flexibility for route selection, frequency of service and price setting. Airports will also be in a position to better market their services.
"I am very pleased that expanded arrangements have been reached with these two long-standing and important bilateral air transport partners in the Caribbean," said Minister Strahl. "These agreements are further positive steps in the implementation of our government's Blue Sky policy."
"These agreements will reinforce Canada's commercial relationship with two of our most significant trade partners in the Caribbean Community," said Minister Van Loan. "Canada would like to build on this momentum as we move forward in our negotiations toward a free trade agreement with the Caribbean Community."
Air services between Canada and both Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago have been operated for several years. Liberalizing the transportation-economic regulatory framework that has governed air services to these countries is consistent with the government's Americas Strategy.
The agreements are being applied on an administrative basis, which allows new air services to begin immediately.
Since the launch of the Blue Sky policy in November 2006, the Government of Canada has negotiated air transport agreements with more than 50 countries, including:
- open skies-type agreements with 11 countries: Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, South Korea, El Salvador, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica; - expanded agreements with seven countries: Mexico, Japan, Jordan, Singapore, the Philippines, Morocco and Cuba; - new "first-time" agreements with eight countries: Kuwait, Serbia, Croatia, Panama, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia and Tunisia; and - a comprehensive air transport agreement between Canada and the European Union's 27 member states. This includes Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia, with which Canada did not previously have air agreements.
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For further information: For further information: John Babcock, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055