Last April, Canada and the United Kingdom announced an “Open Sky” agreement which, when concluded, will represent another major step in the liberalization process of the air transport market between the two countries. The agreement was reported to provide for unlimited so-called “Fifth Freedom Rights” for both countries to enable Canadian airlines to carry traffic to and from third countries through the U.K. The same reciprocal rights are to be available, of course, to British carriers through Canada. It remains to be seen whether the European Commission, which has successfully contested the rights of the European Union members to negotiate air bilateral deals independently of Brussels, will choose to challenge this agreement.
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