EU, Canada to liberalize air traffic rules

Tue Dec 9, 2008 8:34am EST
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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - All European Union airlines will be able to fly directly to Canada from anywhere in the bloc under a coming aviation deal that also scraps investment curbs in the sector, the EU's executive arm said on Tuesday.

EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani said the 27-nation bloc and Canada had made a breakthrough in talks on the agreement, which would remove restrictions on routes, prices and the number of weekly flights between Canada and the EU.

"The new agreement makes the EU-Canada market one of the most open in the world and is a milestone for EU-Canada relations," Tajani said in a statement.

Under the planned accord, EU nationals will be able to establish aviation operations in Canada and freely invest in Canadian airlines and vice versa.

The deal is also meant to ensure that EU and Canadian air carriers would not be discriminated against in access to local infrastructure or state subsidies.

It removes many hassles for air travelers. Transfer passengers, luggage and cargo are to be exempted from any additional security measures when traveling to and from Canada, the Commission said.

(Reporting by Marcin Grajewski, editing by Dale Hudson)