By Claire Valdini
Interline agreement with Canadian carrier comes after authorities refused to grant more landing rights
Qatar Airways has signed an interline agreement with Canadian carrier Porter Airlines as it moves to boost its network in the North American country after authorities refused to grant it additional landing rights.
The deal will enable passengers travelling from Doha on Qatar Airways to connect with a Porter flight in Montreal or Washington and fly to another destination in the latter’s network, Porter's CEO told the Financial Post.
“Qatar is an airline we always thought would be a good fit. We get the benefit of multiple airports and connections with them and that sort of broadens the appeal of the interline arrangement,” said Robert Deluce.
“We feed a fair number of Canadian destinations, and we’re really looking to partner with international carriers that can make use of the flights that we have domestically or on our [US] transborder routes.”
The deal could be expanded to full code-shares by 2014, added Deluce.
Qatar Airways, along with Gulf rivals Emirates and Etihad, has been aggressively lobbying Canada’s transport agency for additional landing rights. The Doha-based airline currently flies three times a week to Montreal.
Qatar’s CEO Akbar Al Baker said in May that the airline was struggling to secure more landing rights in Canada. “Qatar is of course interested in forging even closer ties with Canada but we are struggling with being granted additional landing rights,” he said.
“You Canadians deserve that. It clearly shows the need for more flights. More capacity and more frequency drive greater competition and have only positive economic impact for the benefit of both countries.”
In March it was reported that relations between Canada and the UAE were beginning to warm following a spat over airline landing rights two years ago.
Relations between the oil-rich UAE and Canada deteriorated rapidly after Canada’s transport agency refused to give Gulf carriers Etihad and Emirates new landing rights.
The Gulf state retaliated with the closure of Camp Mirage, a secret military base located outside Dubai and used to supply Canadian troops in Afghanistan.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
The government of Canada is into double speak. They talk the BIG TALK of Free Market economy and open competition. However when it comes to Air Canada competing with a top notch airline, of the calibre of Qatar Airways, the government of Canada recedes into " Protectionism " . Suddenly and conveniently, the government of Canada has forgotten to WALK the WALK.
Let the market decide.
Open up the Bilateral Agreement and offer Qatar Airways to operate into Canadian cities of their choice. Similarly offering Air Canada the same in Qatar.
Let Canadians enjoy " High levels of service at the most competitive prices ". FIVE STAR service. World's BEST AIRLINE.
Oswald this issue is officially over .Has been for some time .There is no interest here zero not even on the map .Speaking frankly no cares. Please review the large collection Articles and comments here at the Arab Business. There is no interest in the Middle East Markets period or they services .Oh on the matter of protectionism we have made no secert of it, yes we do protect.
Then stop claiming being a free market country. Air Canada simply can not compete with Middle Eastern airlines, they made a big fuss about it last year. This is our field of business, face it and move on.
Unless I am mistaken, UAE made more of a fuss than Canada. You might be interested to know Canada will survive without 25 direct flights a week to the UAE. Also you might want to keep in mind that things change. Someday, you might be surprised that your no longer the largest or the best. I guess its tough to be told no.
Arab....all the noise is coming from Qatar a popular expression here is" no means no" with respect of course. Oh..... The big free market stuff we go on about , yes we do that. With respect it was not directed at the GCC . Our relationship is we sell knowledge to the GCC .When the GCC have actual products a developed western nation requires then may be we could do some business beyond the paltry 1.6 Billion currently .Our wealth of Knowledge base people is really all you need when your done send the expats home on those Magnificent A 380s....well that is if they want to.Sound like a few do not like our new look governance which is remarkably like the UAE Conservative : ) Happy Capitalism