AMERICAS: Canada-UAE square off over landing rights

A Canadian opposition policitican has chastised the government over a recent dispute with the United Arab Emirates which saw Canada kicked out of a UAEbased military supply base for troops in Afghanistan after Canada refused a UAE request for more landing rights by the UAE’s national carriers, Dubai-based Emirates Airlines and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways. […]


A Canadian opposition policitican has chastised the government over a recent dispute with the United Arab Emirates which saw Canada kicked out of a UAEbased military supply base for troops in Afghanistan after Canada refused a UAE request for more landing rights by the UAE’s national carriers, Dubai-based Emirates Airlines and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways. The move is widely seen as a bid to protect Canada’s largest carrier, Air Canada from stronger Gulf competitors. Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae said the government should provide more airline landing slots saying: “We do have a principle of open skies in the country. We are trying to recognise the importance of other international hubs. And we are a country in which we have to recognise that Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the other capitals in the Gulf are a very important base of economic activity in not only for the Middle Eastern world but for India, South Asia and for Africa as well. I mean these are major, major hubs. So we can’t turn away from it and we certainly can’t be isolationist and protectionist in our thinking,” Rae said. The Canada-UAE air transport agreement allows each of the UAE carriers to fly up to three times a week to any Canadian city, but both carriers are focusing on Toronto.