Canada's Airports Look Forward to Favourable EU Talks

    Canada-EU Open Skies talks get EU mandate

    OTTAWA, Oct. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Airports Council today said it
looks forward to favourable talks between the EU and Canada toward an EU-wide
Open Skies regime with Canada. The CAC was responding to the news from Europe
that the European Commission has been given the official mandate to hold the
    "An Open Skies regime between Canada and the EU similar to the one
negotiated already between the EU and the U.S. would be a big step forward in
the promotion of tourism growth with Europe," said CAC President and CEO Jim
Facette. "As gateways to the communities they serve, Canada's airports have an
important stake in the outcome of these talks."
    In June of this year, the prime minister said Canada would begin EU talks
this fall. Europe is already Canada's second biggest tourist partner after the
U.S., and tourism is a $66.9 billion industry in Canada. 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 $70.1 billion in
    While Canada has Open Skies agreements with Britain and Ireland, an Open
Skies regime with the European Union would replace individual bilateral
agreements between Canada and the individual members of the 27-member EU. As
many of Canada's other bilateral agreements with individual EU members contain
heavy restrictions, an Open Aviation Agreement also would liberalize Canada's
air regime with all of the EU's 27 member states in one shot.
    Traffic between Canada and the EU has doubled between 2000 and 2005.
According to a study launched by the European Commission, the number of
passengers between the EU and Canada would increase from eight million now to
14 million by 2011. In addition, the EC estimates 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.
    "Air travel is an important facilitator of trade and tourism in our
increasingly integrated and trade-reliant economy," said Mr. Facette. "As the
Standing Committee on International Trade said earlier this year, it is
important that Canada expand its network of air services agreements around the
world. Canada already has Open Skies with the U.S. - Open Skies with Europe is
the logical next step."

    About the Canadian Airports Council

    The Canadian Airports Council (CAC) is the voice for Canada's airports.
Its 47 members encompass more than 150 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.

For further information:

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

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