CUBA STANDARD — As the United States and Cuba are in preliminary talks about a bilateral air transportation agreement, Canada announced it will expand its air transport agreement with the island, allowing for more airlines to operate between the two countries.
Canada is Cuba’s No. 1 tourism source market.
“This announcement provides more airlines with more flexibility to provide convenient flights to help travelers, businesses, shippers and the tourism industry,” Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt said in a press release. “I am pleased to see an expanded agreement with Cuba, a top destination for Canadians traveling south. Under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan, tourism is a priority sector, highlighting its significance in creating jobs and economic growth for Canadians.”
The expanded agreement builds on the 1998 Canada-Cuba Air Transport Agreement, which was last amended in 2009, and is part of Canada’s Blue Sky policy. It will allow “any number of Canadian and Cuban airlines” to offer services between the two countries, provide greater flexibility using the flights from other countries under code sharing, allow for greater pricing flexibility for airlines to respond to demand, and strengthen safety and security provisions.
The expanded agreement will be effective “in the coming weeks,” the Canadian transport ministry said.
Cuba is Canada’s third-largest air travel market.