Strengthening Connections


Both Air Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) are welcoming the signing of an expanded Canada-Mexico Air Transport agreement.

Derek Vanstone, vice-president of corporate strategy, industry and government affairs at Air Canada, said of the new deal that: “Mexico is an important market for Air Canada and this expanded agreement will further strengthen air linkages between Canada and our NAFTA partner. Among other things it provides an open framework for direct flights, introduces more commercial flexibility and contains provisions for safety and security.”

And Vanstone continued: “This is an important agreement and we encourage the federal government to take the next step to build travel and tourism between Canada and Mexico and relax visa requirements for Mexican citizens visiting Canada in order that we can derive the full benefit of this agreement.”

Before adding: “More generally, the agreement also accords with Air Canada’s desire for liberalized air agreements with large and important markets to expand air services and access in order to provide greater choice, convenience and travel opportunities for all Canadians, whether for business or leisure.”

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Good For Business

As for TIAC, its president and CEO, David Goldstein pointed out that “Mexico is an important source market with high demand for Canadian product. The expanded air agreement, combined with a new North American trusted traveller program, will go a long way to deliver more Mexican leisure and business travellers to more Canadian destinations.”

Goldstein continued: “Canada is a trading nation, strengthened through the improved access to new markets opened through this government’s aggressive trade agenda. With a few policy tweaks, the travel industry can play an effective role in advancing and amplifying Canadian export revenues.”

TIAC pointed to a recent report from Deloitte that focused on the productivity of trade and concluded that international travel is not just an important export sector in and of itself ($17B in currency exchange last year) but is a further driver of other trade and investment, in fact a 1% increase in arrivals to Canada generates $817 million in Canadian export revenue.

Said Goldstein: “As Canada’s largest service export sector and largest employer of Canadian youth, the travel sector is a key component to Canadian prosperity. We look forward to our continued work with the Ministers of Immigration and International Trade to an a barriers reduction plan to augment Canadian competitiveness and prosperity.”

So Here’s The Deal

Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast and Mexican Secretary of Communications and Transport Gerardo Ruiz Esparza signed the Canada-Mexico Air Transport Agreement during Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first official visit to Mexico (Feb. 17 to Feb. 18).

The agreement offers:

  • An open framework for direct flights by any number of Canadian and Mexican carriers.
  • Greater flexibility for air carriers to introduce new prices to respond to consumer demand.
  • Strong provisions to ensure the safety and security of flights between both countries.

Once it has been ratified by both countries, the new rights under this agreement will be fully available.

The agreement is consistent with Canada’s Blue Sky policy, which encourages long-term, sustainable competition and the development of new or expanded international air services. Under this policy, the Government of Canada has concluded new or expanded air transport agreements with more than 80 countries.