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New Agreement To Allow More Flights Between Canada And The United Arab Emirates

On Wednesday, Transport Canada announced the conclusion of an expanded air transport agreement between Canada and the United Arab Emirates. The expanded agreement allows 21 flights per week for each week. Could we see Air Canada, Emirates, or Etihad increasing their number of weekly frequencies shortly?

More capacity, more flights

The expansion of the air transport agreement between Canada and the United Arab Emirates will allow airlines to introduce more flight options and routings, said the Canadian Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra. The UAE is Canada’s largest air transport market in the Middle East. With this expanded agreement, there will be a capacity for 21 flights per week for each country, permitting 50% more flights than the maximum number previously possible.


Emirates Boeing 777-31H(ER) A6-EQE (2)

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

The new rights under the expanded agreement are available for use by airlines immediately. Transport Canada believes this move will improve the country’s global connectivity and support tourism and trade activity. This is the second expansion of the transport agreement with the UAE. The agreement was concluded first in 1999 and expanded in 2018.

Omar Alghabra said,

“This expansion of the Canada-United Arab Emirates air transport agreement will improve Canada’s international connectivity and enhance people-to-people and commercial links. As we continue to support the recovery of the Canadian air industry, we are pleased that this expanded agreement will benefit a larger number of Canadian travelers, industry stakeholders, and workers in Canada’s air sector.”

Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business, and Economic Development, added that both countries have a deep relationship. Today’s announcement will be a valuable contribution to helping Canadian companies grow and diversify their markets.

How’s the market served at the moment?

As of April 2023, there are 18 weekly flights between Canada and the United Arab Emirates, according to data from Cirium. Only two routes are currently open, operated by three carriers. These routes are Toronto Pearson-Dubai and Toronto Pearson-Abu Dhabi. Air Canada and Emirates operate the first route. Etihad Airways operates the second.

Air Canada currently operates seven weekly flights between Toronto and Dubai. Emirates offers five weekly flights on this route, but more seats compared to Air Canada (2,455 versus 2,086). Not surprisingly, Emirates employs its Airbus A380 fleet on this route, while Air Canada uses the Boeing 787 Dreamliner 9.

Etihad Airways Airbus A380-861 A6-APF (2)

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Finally, Etihad Airways offers six weekly flights from Abu Dhabi. It employs its Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 787 Dreamliner 9 fleets to serve this route. Overall, there are 357.8 seats available each week between Toronto and the United Arab Emirates.

With the new agreement in place, new Canadian cities could receive direct flights from the United Arab Emirates. While nothing has been announced, we believe cities such as Vancouver and Montreal could receive direct connectivity from the United Arab Emirates. For instance, Montreal currently has three direct routes to the Middle East, with flights operated by Air Canada (to Tel Aviv), Qatar Airways (Doha), and Royal Air Jordanian (Amman). Vancouver has none.

Are you excited about the expansion of the air transport agreement between Canada and the UAE? Which Canadian destinations could benefit from a direct flight to the UAE? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Cirium.

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