Voici une bonne nouvelle pour l'Aéroport de Québec et les résidents de la région. Désormais, les transporteurs pourront offrir des vols entre les Aéroports de leurs choix sans restriction. Donc, on pourra voir autre chose que du Québec-Paris avec Air Transat. Peut-être un Québec-London Gatwick ??? Il y aura donc de belles occasions pour Air Transat de Québec et aussi pour d'autres transporteurs charter européen...
The Canadian Press
Canada reaches civil aviation pact with European Union
MONTREAL — Canadians could have more travel options when visiting Europe after the European Union and Canada reached a landmark deal to open up their air-services markets to each other.
Transport Minister John Baird said the agreement would benefit travelers and shippers by giving them more choice in terms of destinations, and the EU's transport commissioner predicted more transatlantic trade and competition in the air-services sector.
"In these uncertain times, closer global partnerships will help stimulate our economy and expand commercial links," Baird told a news conference at Montreal's Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport.
EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani says the deal, which removes restrictions on ownership and direct flights, makes "the EU-Canada market one of the most open in the world."
The first phase of the deal is expected to come into force in the first half of 2009 that will allow airlines based in the 27-member European Union bloc and those in Canada to operate direct flights between the two jurisdictions.
It removes restrictions on routes, prices and the number of flights allowed between the two sides.
It also foresees a phase-out of restrictions on investment and foreign ownership in airlines and could lead to European investors setting up airline operations in Canada.
Canada currently limits foreign ownership of airlines to 25 per cent. Raising that ceiling to 49 per cent could still take awhile.
Airline analyst Jacques Kavafian said the agreement won't mean much in the short-term since all profitable routes to Europe are already served from Canada.
Canadian airlines could face increased competition from European carriers but it's unlikely that Air Canada (TSX:AC.A) or WestJet (TSX:WJA) would suddenly expand their European interests unless as a defensive move on certain routes.
Kavafian said WestJet may be more interested in code sharing and marketing agreements with European carriers.
"It's going to help WestJet more than Air Canada," he said.
Air Canada said it will comment this afternoon once Transport Minister John Baird discusses the agreement at a news conference in Montreal.
WestJet spokeswoman Gillian Bentley said it will examine the agreement before commenting.