Media Releases

Canada-Europe open skies agreement: Ottawa should initiate talks, says former Air Canada CEO Pierre Jeanniot

Montreal, June 27, 2006 – Given the apparent impasse in open skies negotiations between Europe and the United States, Canada should take the lead and stimulate Europe’s interest in a Canada-European Union agreement modeled on the European proposal to the U.S.

The recommendation comes from Pierre Jeanniot, Director General Emeritus of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and former CEO of Air Canada, in a position paper published today by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI).

Should Canada be successful in proposing an agreement with Europe, 25 bilateral air transport agreements would be replaced by a single agreement covering the entire European Common Market, giving Canada open skies access to 450 million people.

“For its part, the European Union would have achieved successful implementation of its Common Atlantic Air Market approach with a major North American partner,” writes Mr. Jeanniot.

The former Air Canada CEO believes the experience gained in a Canada-EU open skies agreement would be useful to all parties and, in time, could help overcome the reluctance expressed by Americans toward further trans-Atlantic liberalization.

“A large part of world aviation continues to operate under a bureaucratic system of intergovernmental agreements which pretend to know better than the market, and thus dictate which carriers are allowed to fly to what destination, how often and still, in some cases, at what tariffs. Canada should take the lead and try to influence the liberalization of air transport markets over the Atlantic in a more significant way,” concludes Mr. Jeanniot.

Pierre Jeanniot was president and CEO of Air Canada from 1984 to 1990 and director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association from 1993 to 2002. He will present his paper at the Global Air Transport Outlook Conference in Montreal later this week. The paper is also available on the Institute’s Website.

– 30 –

Information and interview requests: Patrick Leblanc, Director of Communications, Montreal Economic Institute, Phone: 514-273-0969 (office) / 514-571-6400 (cell) / E-mail: pleblanc@iedm.org

Back to top