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Mon 15 Nov 2010 10:03 AM

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Qatar inks air deal with Canada amid UAE landing rights row

Qatar Airways granted six flights a week to Ottawa, in contrast to ongoing row with UAE

Qatar inks air deal with Canada amid UAE landing rights row
QATAR AIRWAYS: The airline has earmarked Canada as a key route in its expansion plans
Qatar inks air deal with Canada amid UAE landing rights row

Qatar
and Canada have signed an aviation agreement that will allow state-backed Qatar Airways to
fly three passenger flights and three cargo flights a week from the Arab state.

Talks
were concluded on October 25 after three days of negotiation, according to
Canadian news media.

Speaking
ahead of the discussions, Abdul Aziz Mohammed Al Nuaimi, chairman of the Civil
Aviation Authority, said Canada had been earmarked as a key destination for
Qatar Airways’ network expansion.

Qatar
Airways was not immediately available for comment.

The
quick agreement with Qatar is in sharp contrast to the ongoing dispute between
the UAE and Ottawa over landing rights.

Canada’s
transport agency last month declined to grant the UAE’s national carriers,
Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways, more landing rights, despite years of
requests from the Gulf state.

Dubai
retaliated by ordering the evacuation of Canada’s Camp Mirage, based near the
emirate, which had played a key role in supporting missions in Afghanistan.

Last
week, the UAE said Canadian visitors would be required to apply for visas from
January 2, 2011 to enter the Gulf state.

An
estimated 27,000 Canadians are currently resident in the UAE. The Gulf state is
Canada’s largest trade partner in the Middle East and North Africa region.

In
an interview last month, Canada’s opposition trade minister warned the row over
landing rights would hit Canadian businesses operating in the Gulf, and risk a
bilateral trade relationship worth $2bn a year.

 “Canadian
businesses and farmers could end up paying the price for this government’s
incompetent handling of this situation.” MP Martha Hall Findlay told Arabian
Business.

 “Rather
than avoid the issue, and ignore the UAE and its concerns, we want the Canadian
government to constructively try to find a solution,” she said.

Paolo C 8 years ago

This proves that the reasons behind the issue with UAE are others. Maybe open and unpaid debts.

Red Snappa 8 years ago

Well, well, well after all the posturing, Qatar makes civil aviation progress in Canada and UAE does not, maybe there's a landing rights ceiling by country. All very odd, more to this than meets the eye, maybe the Blackberry spat, landing rights and visas are the facade of a more a more deep seated dispute.

A call for greater clarity perhaps.

Looking at the affair from another angle. Let us be honest if you take the overall Canadian influence on AB's column inches including the Blackberry debacle and all the ensuing debate, they have probably secured more coverage as a nation in the UAE than the rest of the world put together. You'd have to pay tens of millions of dollars to mount a Canadian advertising campaign that secured this much exposure!

The brand Canada spin doctor must be delighted. Unfortunately Dubai didn't seem to garner anywhere near as much content in the Maple Leaf media.

Claude 8 years ago

Let's not forget that the UAE, played a prominent role in keeping Canada away from the UN Security Council seat last month, by lobbying against our country. Tough politics in this one!!!

Mukhtar Sumar 8 years ago

This is obviously damage control, Canadians having goofed up by refusing the permission to UAE and could not afford another issue in the region. This has nothing to do with economics, simply politics, more of an ego issue!

As a Canadian I wish, a developed country like Canada, would demonstrate its maturity by diplomatically, admitting to mishandling of the UAE issue; take the first step forward and start mending fences. Make peace, not war Mr Harper!

Haris M 8 years ago

As a Canadian, I think UAE has enough flights already. We do not need to give them any more access. If Emirates and Etihad dont like it, they can always leave. We will give more access to Qatar and invite Gulfair as well. Im sure Bahrain wouldnt mind a few extra flights.

UAE needs Canada, while Canada doesnt really need the UAE.

Salman 8 years ago

This has everything to do with egos and politics and nothing to do with common sense and business well being.
I have Canadian Immigration and stayed there for 2 weeks when i entered the country for the first time. Now I have travelled the whole world almost and lived in the US and Europe and my experience in Canada was very interesting. After just about a few days I was dying to come back home as I found it hard even to spend my time there. 4-6 months back(I havent gone back to Canada in more than 3 years now)I decided that I am wasting my time with the Canadian option which I was not really pursuing anyways so I decided to end it. The only reason people immigrate there is to get the passport and after that I'm pretty confident to say at least 50% leave and go back to their original locations.This whole thing with Emirates and Etihad is nothing but a bloated ego. People talk on here about the amazing Canadian economy and so on and about Dubai being nothing.Well then why so scared of it