Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today that Canada has reached a first-time air transport agreement with Colombia, as well as Open Skies-type agreements with Honduras, Nicaragua, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The announcement was made in Colombia where the Prime Minister participated in the Summit of the Americas with other hemispheric leaders.
“Our Government is working hard to give Canadian businesses the tools they need to compete and thrive in the Americas and beyond,” said Prime Minister Harper. “These air transport agreements provide exciting new commercial opportunities which will contribute to jobs and economic growth in Canada and other countries in the hemisphere.”
The new agreement with Colombia, which takes effect immediately, allows airlines to operate passenger and all-cargo services between Canada and Colombia, and to combine such air services with select third countries. Additionally, the agreement allows maximum flexibility relating to air services using the flights of other airlines, commonly referred to as code-sharing, which supports efforts by Canadian and Colombian air carriers to expand services.
The Open Skies-type agreements with Honduras and Nicaragua will provide airlines with maximum flexibility in terms of routes, frequency of service and pricing, which will facilitate new air services, support increased trade and tourism, as well as people-to-people ties. The agreement with Honduras will enter into force once the agreement is ratified. The agreement with Nicaragua takes effect immediately.
The Open Skies-type agreements with Curaçao and Sint Maarten, which take effect immediately, replace the 1974 agreement that governed air services between Canada and the former Netherlands Antilles, and also provide airlines with maximum flexibility in terms of routes, frequency of service and pricing. This will allow the expansion of existing services and the introduction of new services, encouraging trade and tourism, and promoting connections between people.
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 more than 60 countries.