Canada has reached an agreement with
the European Union which may make finding investors much easier for
Canadian airlines than for their US competitors.
The New York Times reports that the agreement, reached Wednesday,
would allow up to 49 percent of a Canadian airline to be owned by
foreign interests, with a complete lifting of limits on foreign
ownership possible in the future. Until now, Canada imposed the
same 25-percent limit as does the current US rule.
The new agreement also drops restrictions on point-to-point flights
between Canada and the EU, allows more code-sharing agreements, and
sets up a joint committee to monitor the agreement.
Canada's new policy stands in contrast to recent attempts by
Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar, the Democrat who chairs the
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to impose
tighter rules and oversight on antitrust immunity and code-sharing
by US airlines. Some industry observers have warned Oberstar's
initiatives could trigger a trade war.