Canadian government announces expansion of Canada-China Air Transport Agreement to facilitate movement of goods, people; changes include allowing China Southern Airlines to carry freight between Vancouver, Los Angeles with freight between China, Canada

OTTAWA, Canada , February 15, 2012 (press release) – The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening its important trade and investment relationship with China. To this end, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced an expansion of the Canada-China Air Transport Agreement, which will benefit travellers and businesses in various sectors of the Canadian economy, including the tourism industry. The expanded agreement, which replaces the 2005 Air Services Agreement, will facilitate the movement of goods, services and people and help Canadian businesses and airlines to grow and compete by providing them with greater choices in airline services, destinations as well as lower prices.

More specifically, the new agreement will:

Reduce restrictions related to the use of flights from third country airlines. Commonly referred to as code-sharing, this practice supports efforts by several Canadian and Chinese air carriers to expand their services and compete in priority markets, while providing more convenience and choice to travellers and shippers.
Enable airlines to react more quickly with pricing initiatives to address changing market conditions and face fewer government administrative conditions.
Improve the viability of China Southern Airlines’ existing service by allowing the airline to carry freight between Vancouver and Los Angeles together with freight between China and Canada.

The provisions contained within the expanded Air Transport Agreement are immediately available to airlines of both countries. Canada and China have also agreed to meet again in 2013 to consider further expansion of the agreement.

The Air Transport Agreement is part of the Government's Blue Sky Policy, which aims to create opportunities and jobs in various sectors of the economy - including trade and tourism - through expanded air service at home and abroad.

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 close to 60 countries.

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