India and Canada Sign Open Skies Agreement

November 28th, 2022
← Back to blog

India and Canada Sign Open Skies Agreement

Indian and Canadian carriers are now able to provide access to key cities in both countries–unlimited. As the Open Skies agreement goes into effect, airlines will now be able to enjoy unrestricted flights from key cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Toronto, among others. The 35 weekly limit has been lifted for these routes so that travelers can enjoy more flight options. Look for more flight deals to come your way because of this new agreement.

Huge opportunity

With the new Open Skies agreement, Canadian airlines can fly to Asia with virtually no restrictions. This victory comes after years of being limited to just 35 weekly flights to this destination. Meanwhile in India, airlines will have reign over Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, and two more locations that the Indian government picks.

The decision to allow international flights in Canada is another step towards an open market. The decision will be a big boost for all stakeholders, including Canada, India and the many international visitors who travel to these countries for leisure or business.

Collete, COVID’s CEO, said in a recent interview that 18.8 million people traveled on her company’s services in 2019, compared to just under 20 million international passengers traveling across all airlines.

Air Canada has stuck to a plan that was approved in 2011, limiting flights from 35 per week. While it added a new service to Montreal last year, the Air Canada expansion could go beyond the confines of the current route.

A win for two airlines

It’s been a happy month for Canadians and Indians alike. Canada’s flag carrier, Air Canada recently announced a daily frequency from Delhi to Vancouver on the 777 next summer, while India’s flag carrier just recently talked about expanding flights to other Indian cities in February. Neither have hit the 35/week restriction yet, but with more cities being added soon and that number not far off, could this change?

Air India will take a close look at the Canadian market in order to decide which cities it wants to operate out of when launching its new fleet of seven 777-200LRs. Toronto and Vancouver, which currently have services from Delhi, can both serve Mumbai and Bangalore or try to compete with Air Canada in Montreal. They’re also considering a long-awaited service from Amritsar, Punjab, on the table as well.

With air rights, Air Canada is not only limited by some restrictions but also by the geography of where it can fly. Some routes are entirely impossible, just like what occurs with Ulaanbaatar-Toronto. However, when the time is right and the relevant regulations have been met, Air Canada might be able to fly a nonstop route like Bangalore-Toronto. Other potential regions would include connections to Calgary which will be very unlikely given their lack of an AC base and flights to Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.