Canada, China expand Air Transport Agreement

In a move designed to strengthen trade and investment relationships with China, 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 (codesharing), supporting efforts by several Canadian and Chinese carriers to expand their services and compete in priority markets. !!! 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.