Canada, Japan expand air agreement

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics announced the conclusion of air services negotiations between Canada and Japan, resulting in expanded air services rights for flights operating between the two countries. “Our bilateral air transportation relationship with Japan is strong, important and long-standing,” said Minister Cannon.

“Air travel activity between Canada and Asia has grown rapidly and I am pleased that the Japanese government shares Canada’s view that airlines should have sufficient flexibility to plan for and accommodate this commercial activity.”

The bilateral agreement, concluded on January 25, 2007, will result in the expansion of rights for air services. It will provide more flexibility to airline companies of both countries to adjust the capacity of their services and aircraft types. Passengers would benefit from an increase in flights between both countries. Moreover, airline companies will have greater route flexibility for the operation of code-sharing services. Code-sharing permits an airline to market partner airline flights as its own, offering additional means of serving markets.

“Japan is one of our key trading partners and expanding our air services agreement will enhance existing commercial ties,” said Minister Emerson. “Air transportation is an important component of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, and this agreement means more goods, services, and people will be going through the West Coast and the Gateway.”

In 2008, further air transportation negotiations are expected to take place between Canada and Japan. The next round of negotiations would permit both parties to continue to build a strong relationship in order to bring positive results for Canadian and Japanese stakeholders.