Transport ministers give support
European transport ministers will support an Open Skies agreement between the Europe and Canada, it was reported today (March 31).
The transatlantic agreement will allow airlines from Canada and the EU states to fly freely between each country's airports.
A source in the EU's Czech presidency told Reuters that transport ministers had supported a compromise on the EU-Canada aviation agreement.
The agreement will also pave the way for greater control and ownership between Canadian and EU airlines as restrictions are relaxed.
The Canadian government plans to increase its foreign ownership limit from 25% to 49% of an airline's voting stock, reports said.
Air Canada and WestJet Airlines, two of Canada's major carriers, are both said to be receptive to outside investment.
Existing restrictions on routes, pricing and flight frequency between the Canada and the EU will also be replaced.
The official signing is expected on May 6 at the EU-Canada summit in Prague.
The agreement could result in 500,000 million more passengers in its first year, more than 1,000 jobs and €72m in economic benefits, a European Commission study suggested.