Canada, China to boost air links as accord reached

OTTAWA (AFP) - Canada and China have reached an agreement aimed at boosting air transport links between the two countries, the Canadian government announced here on Thursday.

The agreement will see an increase in flights between a greater number of destination cities in both countries, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement.

"This agreement is good news for travellers, shippers and Canada's aviation industry as a whole," Mr Baird said.

The accord will increase the number of flights between China and Canada and also gives Chinese airlines the ability to offer passenger and all-cargo services to third countries in connection with Canada.

The agreement also allows for improved code-sharing agreements with partner airlines from third countries, the statement said.

The provisions of the agreement take immediate effect.

Mr Baird meanwhile noted that the accord reflected the importance of the Asia-Pacific region to Canada.

"Increasing ties with the Asia-Pacific region is absolutely vital to Canada's future prosperity," said Mr Baird.

Bilateral trade between Canada and China reached record levels in 2012.

China is now Canada's second-largest export destination after the United States (US), the statement said.

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