Expanded Canada-United Arab Emirates air transport agreement to allow more flights between both countries

News release

Additional capacity will strengthen travel and business ties to grow our economy and create good jobs for Canadians

April 5, 2023               Ottawa, Ontario               Transport Canada

Whether visiting family and friends or shipping goods to markets around the world, Canadians rely on the aviation industry to provide diverse international air services. Expanding Canada’s existing air transport relationships allows airlines to introduce more flight options and routings, which benefit passengers and businesses by providing greater choice while creating good jobs for Canadians and growing our economy.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the conclusion of an expanded air transport agreement between Canada and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is Canada’s largest air transport market in the Middle East. The expanded agreement allows 21 flights per week for each country. This will permit 50 per cent more flights than the maximum number previously possible, facilitate new routes, and give airlines greater flexibility to accommodate changes in market demand.

This significant move will better accommodate the growing Canada-UAE air transport market, improve Canada’s global connectivity, and support tourism and trade activity between the two countries.

The new rights under the expanded agreement are available for use by airlines immediately. This new agreement is also aligned with Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy since the UAE serves as a hub for many flights to Asia.


“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 travellers, industry stakeholders, and workers in Canada’s air sector. This is good news for tourism and the creation of good middle-class jobs for Canadians.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Canada’s Minister of Transport

“Canada and the United Arab Emirates have a broad and deep relationship rooted in strong people-to-people ties, and trade and investment connections. Today’s announcement will be a valuable contribution in helping Canadian companies grow and diversify their markets on the global stage, and contribute to greater economic and social development between our two countries.”

The Honourable Mary Ng
Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • Canada’s air transport agreement with the UAE was concluded in 1999, expanded in 2018, and again in April 2023.

  • Expansion of the agreement with the UAE was guided by Canada’s Blue Sky policy, which encourages long-term, sustainable competition and the development of international air services.

Associated links


Nadine Ramadan
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Page details

Date modified: