Release date: 
10 December 2008 :00am
December 9, 2008 (Ottawa) – The Ottawa International Airport Authority commends the Government of Canada for the successful negotiation of a liberalized air service agreement with the European Union. The agreement, which contains achievable incremental targets to full Open Skies will ultimately enhance air service for the National Capital Region.

“We are confident that Open Skies with the European Union will benefit Ottawa/Gatineau by removing restrictions and enhancing flexibility for travel”, said Paul Benoit, Ottawa International Airport Authority President and CEO. “Liberalized air service agreements increase opportunities for trade and tourism, promote greater competition in the market and will ultimately get our local travellers to their families, clients and vendors around the world with greater ease and choice.”

The new agreement replaces a patchwork of bilateral agreements Canada had with 19 of the 27 EU member states, many of which by their nature, precluded non-stop access to the region. The agreement permits any carrier to eventually operate direct service between the National Capital Region and the EU without restriction – where there is a viable market it may be served.

OMCIAA operates Ottawa International Airport without government subsidies under a 60-year lease transfer agreement with Transport Canada. The OMCIAA’s mandate is to manage, operate and develop airport facilities and lands in support of the economic growth of the National Capital Region.