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
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.