EU signs 'open skies' deal with Canada

18th December 2009, Comments 0 comments

The European Union has signed an 'open skies' deal with Canada liberalising air traffic between the two, the EU Commission said.

Brussels--The deal, which was agreed a year ago, allows European airlines to fly to Canada from anywhere they want in Europe rather than just their home country.

It will also lift all restrictions on routes, prices or the number of weekly flights between Canada and the EU as well as limits on investing in or setting up airlines in Canada and vice versa.

The deal replaces a patchwork of bilateral accords between Canada and individual EU states.

"The new agreement makes the EU-Canada market one of the most open in the world and is a milestone for EU-Canada relations," said EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani, who signed the deal.

Non-EU nations Iceland and Norway also agreed to join a 2008 open-skies agreement between the EU and the United States, under which European airlines can fly between any airport in the EU and any airport in the US.

The EU also signed an air transport liberalisation deal with members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU): Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

The deal brings 47 existing bilateral air services agreements in line with EU law.

That deal provides the African carriers "with increased opportunities to operate to the EU from WAEMU countries," the commission said.

Under the agreement any European airline can operate flights between any EU nation and any WAEMU Member State where a bilateral agreement already exists and traffic rights are available.

AFP/ Expatica

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