Canada's Airports Congratulate Canadian Government For Signing Milestone Air

Promise of liberalized air service agreement is a win-win

OTTAWA, Dec. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's airports congratulated this government for the historic signing a new air service agreement with the European Union. "Moving to free trade of the skies is about creating greater choice and opportunity for our Canadian communities, carriers and our neighbours in the European Union." said CAC Chairman Barry Rempel.

CAC members' ability to remain competitive depends on their ability to offer passengers more choices. Increased options for international air service have corresponding links to international trade opportunities in today's global economy. It is essential that a liberalized international air regime be seen as a key component of trade policy.

"As we move through the steps toward a full Open Skies Agreement, this new air agreement will set an example for carrier access, safety, security and passenger mobility" said Jim Facette, CAC president and CEO. In addition to allowing unrestrictive flights between Canada and the European Union this agreement envisions mutual recognition standards for safety and security.

More than half of Canada's overseas tourists hail from Europe. The EU also is Canada's second biggest trading partner after the U.S., with some $84.2 billion in imports/exports. According to a study from the European Commission, the number of passengers between the EU and Canada has the potential to increase from eight million to 14 million by 2011. In addition, the EC estimated that an Open Aviation Area would generate consumer benefits of at least $110 million through lower fares and could create 3,700 jobs in the first year.

Since the new agreement was first announced, provisional steps have been taken to launch several new air routes that previously would not have been possible or subject to punitive restrictions. These include:

    -   One of Europe's largest air cargo airlines has launched a new route
        between Europe, Canada and the U.S.
    -   A Canadian company has expressed interest in launching a low-cost
        trans-Atlantic service using aircraft wet-leased from a European
    -   A major Eastern European airline has taken steps to introduce all-
        cargo service between Europe and a secondary airport in Canada.

About the Canadian Airports Council

The Canadian Airports Council (CAC) is the voice for Canada's airports. Its 47 members represent more than 200 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 in excess of $45 billion in economic activity in the communities they serve. And more than 200,000 jobs are directly associated with CAC member airports, generating a payroll of more than $8 billion annually.

SOURCE Canadian Airports Council

For further information: For further information: Daniel-Robert Gooch, Director of Communications, Canadian Airports Council, (613) 560-9302 ext 16,

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