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Canada And Mexico Amend Air Services Agreement

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

19 December 2007

The Government of Canada last week announced amendments to the bilateral air transport agreement with Mexico. These amendments mark a significant step towards modernizing air services between the two countries.

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

"I am very pleased with the new air services arrangements between Canada and Mexico. These amendments reflect the importance of our long-standing aviation relationship," stated Minister Cannon, continuing:

"The expanded provisions are consistent with Canada's Blue Sky policy approach and are expected to produce benefits for passengers, shippers, air carriers and airports."

The new provisions provide greater market access options for airlines from both countries for passenger, combination and all-cargo services. Airlines will also have greater pricing flexibility to respond to market conditions in a more competitive and timely manner. The new provisions also provide all-cargo air carriers with more opportunities to facilitate and expedite the flow of cargo between both countries.

"Mexico is one of Canada's largest trading partners and a premier travel destination for Canadians," observed Minister Emerson. "These new air arrangements will allow for the continued expansion of our commercial ties with Mexico by making the supply chain links between our two countries stronger and more efficient."

Over 840,000 Canadian tourists visit Mexico each year - making it one of the most preferred tourist destinations. In 2006, Mexico was Canada's fifth-largest customer, with exports at $4.4 billion. Mexico was also Canada's third-largest supplier, with imports reaching $16 billion.

The negotiations followed recent discussions between Minister Cannon and Mexican Secretary of Transportation Luis Téllez Kuenzler regarding the importance of the bilateral air transport relationship and recent growth in bilateral air traffic. Delegations from both countries have agreed to meet again in 2009 to explore further areas of modernization and liberalization.

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