Canada inks new air agreement with Panama

Written by Canadian Transportation and Logistics Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Canada has inked a new air transport agreement with the Republic of Panama, a long-standing bilateral partner in Central America.

The announcement was made today by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics.

The agreement puts in place a new, modern framework for scheduled air services between Canada and Panama, consistent with Canada's Blue Sky policy.

"The new agreement will benefit passengers, businesses, air carriers and airports through a greater range of travel options," said Minister Cannon.

Airlines from both countries can serve any point in each others' territory, with greater flexibility for establishing airfares, and greater certainty surrounding operational business issues. The agreement also includes strong safety and security provisions, reflecting the importance both countries attach to these subjects.

"Canada greatly values its long-standing relationship with Panama," said Minister Emerson. "This achievement further reflects this government's commitment to open new air links with key bilateral partners to facilitate growth in trade, investment and tourism."

With air travel, trade and investment between Canada and Panama growing, this agreement marks another step forward in Canada's engagement in the Americas. The agreement also complements Canada's recently launched exploratory discussions with Panama on a possible Free Trade Agreement. In 2007, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Panama totalled $115 million, with Canadian exports accounting for $86.4 million and imports totalling $28.7 million. From 2005 to 2007, Canadian merchandise exports to Panama increased 44%.

Air carriers from both countries have shown an interest in operating scheduled air services between Canada and Panama, and are currently reviewing their plans in light of the new agreement.