ALPA Represents Pilots in U.S./Canadian Transportation Talks

On Friday, Canadian and U.S. transportation officials announced that they had negotiated a new air services agreement. The “Open Skies” deal will relax air travel rules between the two countries, allowing greater access for passenger and cargo airlines. 

ALPA played a significant role as a member of the delegations on both sides of the negotiations, representing the interests of both Canadian and U.S. airline pilots. The Association has voiced strong opposition to changing rules governing cabotage and foreign ownership. The union lobbied successfully to leave those rules unchanged in the new agreement. 

A February 1995 treaty substantially opened up air service between the United States and Canada, resulting in rapid expansion of the air transportation market between the two countries. That agreement prohibits U.S. or Canadian carriers from providing domestic service within the other country and its territories as well as continued flights into a third country. Under the new agreement, airlines from the United States or Canada can pick up passengers or cargo and continue on to a third country, but domestic flying will remain the province of each country’s own airlines. The treaty is scheduled to take effect Sept. 1, 2006. 

The U.S./Canadian air transportation market is one of the world’s largest international markets. It generated approximately 18.6 million passengers in 2004.