“[Air Canada] generally favors liberalization and we have been supportive of Open Sky agreements with other countries where sufficient demand exists, notably the U.S. and with the European Union.”Air Canada

In 2010, Canada, recognizing the threat posed by the predatory expansion and massive subsidy violations of their bilateral air transport agreements with the UAE and Qatar, restricted access to the Toronto airport. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates’ national carriers, Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad, were looking to continue expanding their access into Canada’s busiest airport, despite the lack of correlating market demand.

In an act of reprisal for Canada’s refusal to allow further subsidized expansion, the United Arab Emirates kicked Canada out of Camp Mirage, their strategic military base in the UAE, going so far as to immediately deny landing rights at Camp Mirage to Canada’s Chief of Defense.

In further retribution, the United Arab Emirates also successfully lobbied against Canada’s United Nation’s Security Council bid in 2010 as a result of Canada’s attempt to level the playing field.

The UAE also announced new visa restrictions on Canadian visitors to the UAE that would be coming into effect in January of 2011. Before this, Canadians had been allowed to pick up a free visa upon arrival in the UAE. After the new visa rules were instituted as a result of the dispute over Toronto airport access, Canadian visitors were required to pay up to 1,000 CAD for a visa. These restrictions were lifted in 2013 upon Canada’s recommitment to strategic cooperation with the UAE.

Learn more about the subsidized Gulf carriers:

Emirates

Emirates, the national airline of Dubai, has collected subsidies from their government since 2004. Learn the different ways they have collected subsidies from the United Arab Emirates.

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Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways is the state-owned airline of Abu Dhabi. Take a guess, how much do you think they have received in subsidized support from their government?


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Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways never had to depend on profits to keep their airline in business. When funds are running low, they can depend on a check from their government. Who else is going to buy all of those A350s?

Learn More