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Fri, May 08, 2009

Canadian Airlines Join 'Open Skies'

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.

FMI: www.tc.gc.ca

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