An expanded air transport agreement between Canada and Israel, which increases passenger and cargo flights between the two countries, was announced by Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Jan. 25, during his visit to the Jewish state.
Effective immediately, designated airlines will be able to operate up to 19 passenger flights per week, seven more than were previously allowed.
Garneau said the agreement will enhance the travel options of people in both countries and be a boon to commercial ties and investment. The agreement was reached with Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.
“We are pleased to expand this relationship with additional flexibility for airlines to serve this growing market,” Garneau stated. “By making the movement of goods and people faster and easier, this expanded agreement will continue to facilitate trade and investment between Canada and Israel and help our businesses grow and succeed.”
Katz said the expanded agreement is “another step in the liberalization policy that the Israeli Ministry of Transportation is leading in the aviation sector and it opens additional possibilities to Israeli airlines for co-operation agreements with other foreign carriers in Europe and North America.”
The implementation of the agreement, he said, is “expected to lead to an improvement in the level of service on flights to and from Israel and to an increase in the level of competition among airlines, as well as a drop in airfares and an increase in passenger and cargo traffic to Israel.”
The original Canada-Israel air transport agreement was signed in 2015. The expansion was reached under Canada’s Blue Sky policy, which encourages competition and the development of international air services.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) hailed the news as another indication of strengthening ties between Canada and Israel.
“Whether it’s a family connection, a first-time tourist experience or a business opportunity between Canadians and an entrepreneur in the ‘Start-Up Nation,’ travel between Canada and Israel fosters the deep friendship between our two countries,” stated CIJA CEO Shimon Fogel.
“That steadfast friendship is rooted in shared values and interests, and we look forward to seeing the many opportunities today’s announcement helps facilitate come to fruition.”