Yisrael Katz, Israel’s Minister of Transport and Road Safety and the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada’s Minister of Transport, have signed a new Air Transport Agreement (ATA), a Declaration of Intent on Aviation Security, and a Memorandum of Understanding on transportation.
The new ATA expands Canada’s air transport relationship with Israel by providing flexibility for airlines in both countries to offer greater service options for travelers and shippers.
The agreement will allow any number of Canadian and Israeli airlines to offer air services to any city in Canada and Israel, it will increase the number of permitted flights for passenger and cargo services, and it will provide airlines the ability to introduce new prices more quickly.
There are currently limitations on the number of weekly flights, and Air Canada and El Al Israel Airlines are the only two carriers that fly between the two countries. Canada and Israel are also entering into a new cooperation agreement on aviation security.
Air Canada currently offers one daily flight on the Tel Aviv-Toronto route. It also has the right to fly between Tel Aviv and Montreal, although there currently is no such service. In the past year, the carrier upgraded its equipment on the Toronto route to a larger aircraft, a Boeing 787.
During the winter months, El Al has two flights a week to and from Toronto. The Declaration of Intent on Aviation Security formalizes Transport Canada’s cooperation with Israel on aviation security issues of mutual concern. It provides the basis for an ongoing exchange of information with Israel on these issues and is a key component of the Strategic Partnership Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2014.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Transportation provides a valuable framework for sharing best practices and lessons learned between both departments, and will help to identify opportunities for Canadian and Israeli commercial interests in the sector.
In 2014, about 147,700 passengers flew between Israel and Canada, about 5% more than in 2013, the Israel Airports Authority reported. In 2013, Canada’s total merchandise trade with Israel was approximately $1.4 billion The Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), in force since 1997, has led to a doubling in the value of trade between the countries.