Canada is the latest country to sign an expanded air services agreement with Australia, increasing the number of available seats for airlines of both countries and easing restrictions on codesharing and cargo.
Under the new bilateral, Australian and Canadian carriers have been granted an extra 3,000 seats between Canada and the four major international gateways of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, effective immediately.
A further 3,000 seats will be available from December 2016, providing 9,000 seats a week for airlines of both countries.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the cap of codeshare traffic right has also been lifted, to give carriers on both countries more flexibility in offering codeshare flights.
There would also be unlimited freighter movements under the new agreement.
“Over the coming year gateway capacity in this market will triple, offering new opportunities for both Australian and Canadian airlines and their passengers,” Truss said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Outside the gateways there is now unrestricted capacity between Canada and all other points in Australia.”
Truss said the new arrangements offered “significant new potential for growth in the Canadian market”.
On the Australian side, Qantas operates a seasonal Sydney-Vancouver service with Boeing 747-400s during the peak summer and winter months, while Air Canada has a daily Boeing 777-200LR flight on the same route.
The Canadian flag carrier is also adding Brisbane to its Australian network from June 2016 with a three times a week offering from Vancouver using Boeing 787 Dreamliners.