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Expanded air transport agreement for Canada and Mexico

Aug. 12, 2011, Ottawa - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced that Canada and Mexico have reached an expanded air transport agreement, which will facilitate increased travel and trade between the two countries.


August 12, 2011
By Carey Fredericks

"As Canada's third largest air transport market, Mexico is an important bilateral aviation partner," said Minister Lebel. "The expanded air transport agreement builds on the existing air transport agreement to benefit travellers, shippers, and the business sectors of both countries."

This expanded agreement provides a completely open framework for direct flights between Canada and Mexico, thereby allowing any number of airlines from both countries to offer more services between any Canadian and Mexican cities. The agreement also provides greater flexibility to adjust prices according to market forces and modernizes safety and security provisions.

"Expanded air service with Mexico is great news for Canadian exporters, travellers and investors," added Minister Fast. "Canada-Mexico economic relations have strengthened significantly — creating jobs and economic growth — since the historic NAFTA entered into force in 1994. Our trade has more than quadrupled during that time and this is proof that we are on the right track with our job-creating free trade plan. Additional air transport connectivity will encourage even more prosperity."

The agreement is being applied on an administrative basis, allowing airlines to offer new services immediately, once designated by the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

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Since November 2006, Canada's Blue Sky policy has encouraged long-term, sustainable competition and the development of new and expanded international air services. Under this policy, the Government of Canada has concluded open, new or expanded air transport agreements with 57 countries, including:

Open Skies-type agreements with 12 countries: Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, South Korea, El Salvador, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Brazil;
expanded agreements with nine countries: Mexico, Japan, Jordan, Singapore, the Philippines, Morocco, Cuba, Egypt and Algeria;
new "first-time" agreements with nine countries: Kuwait, Serbia, Croatia, Panama, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, Tunisia and Qatar; 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 transport agreements.