Transport Canada announced the expansion of an air transport agreement between Canada and the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday. The expanded agreement permits 21 weekly flights per week. Could Aero Canada, Emirates, or Etihad increase their weekly frequency in the near future?
More flight capacity and itineraries
According to the Canadian Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, the expansion of the air transport agreement between Canada and the United Arab Emirates will enable airlines to implement more flight options and routes. Canada’s main aviation transport market in the Middle East is the United Arab Emirates. With this expanded agreement, each country will be able to operate up to 21 flights per week, which is 50 percent more than the previous maximum.
The new powers granted by the expanded agreement are promptly available to airlines. Transport Canada believes that this action will enhance the nation’s global connectivity and promote tourism and commerce. This expansion of the transport agreement with the UAE is the second. The original agreement was signed in 1999 and was 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.”
Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business, and Economic Development, Mary Ng, added that the relationship between the two nations is strong. The announcement made today will assist Canadian businesses in expanding and diversifying their markets.
How is the market currently served?
According to data from Cirium, there are 18 weekly flights between Canada and the United Arab Emirates as of April 2023. Currently, only two routes are available, operated by three carriers. The itineraries in question are Toronto Pearson to Dubai and Toronto Pearson to Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways and Air Canada operate the second route, while Emirates and Etihad operate the first.
Air Canada operates seven aircraft per week between Toronto and Dubai. Emirates provides five weekly flights on this route, but Air Canada offers more spaces (2,455 versus 2,086). Emirates utilizes its Airbus A380 fleet on this route, whereas Air Canada utilizes the Boeing 787 Dreamliner 9.
Etihad Airways provides six weekly flights out of Abu Dhabi. This route is served by its Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleets. There are approximately 357 available seats per week between Toronto and the United Arab Emirates.
With the new agreement in place, the United Arab Emirates could offer direct flights to additional Canadian cities. While nothing has been officially announced, we believe that Vancouver and Montreal could receive direct connections to the United Arab Emirates. Air Canada (to Tel Aviv), Qatar Airways (Doha), and Royal Air Jordan offer direct flights from Montreal to the Middle East (Amman). Vancouver has none.