Canadian restrictions on Emirates “complete and utter nonsense”

Following the restrictions imposed on Emirates flights to Canada, the carrier’s president has lashed out saying its “complete and utter nonsense”.

Reuters reported that Canada placed restrictions on Emirates earlier this week, limiting it to only three weekly flights to the whole country.

The restrictions were fuelled by the Air Canada Pilots Association who believed if Ottawa allowed Emirates to expand in Canada, Air Canada would be forced into bankruptcy and its airline partners would be hurt.

“The notion that a few extra flights a week to a destination that the national carrier doesn’t even choose to serve will have any type of impact on their bottom line is clearly ludicrous,” said Emirates President Tim Clark on Wednesday at the Economic Club of Canada

Clark told
The Globe and Mail that Emirates was a fair competitor against Air Canada and its partners, adding that the flights would help boost tourism and trade to the country.

“Opportunities are being missed simply because the transport options are not there”

With hopes to introduce services to Calgary and Vancouver, Clark urged Ottawa to approve Emirates Toronto-Dubai flights to more than three weekly flights.

On the other side of the argument, Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the direct flights would not provide mutual benefits as Canada did not receive much traffic from Dubai and Canadians often just used Dubai as a stopover destination.

“Air Canada has always said it supports liberalization and open skies agreements with the provision that they create a level playing field and make sense for Canada” said Fitzpatrick.

“There is no reciprocal benefit to Canadian carriers or Canada. There has to be advantages for both countries.”