Fresh from successfully concluding a new air services agreement with the UK, Singapore has secured another long sought-after bilateral, with Canada.

Singapore had for years been frustrated in its attempts to forge a formal air services agreement with Canada to enable Singapore Airlines to increase services. Although SIA currently operates passenger services to Vancouver via Seoul in South Korea, it had only been able to do so using a temporary operating permit that was renewable annually. It also has only been able to operate three weekly flights on the route. Under the new arrangements, airlines can operate unlimited passenger and all-cargo flights between the two countries via select intermediate points.

Codesharing is also formally allowed between carriers from the two countries or with airlines from third countries. Star Alliance partners Air Canada and SIA already codeshare between their home countries and on other ­international services.

Singapore's agreement with Canada was negotiated just under a month after Singapore secured a groundbreaking new air services agreement with the UK after decades of discussion. Canada has been pursuing more open air services policies with several countries in recent months under its so-called "Blue Sky" liberalisation initiative.

Source: Airline Business