The Canadian Airports Council today welcomed further expansion of the China Transit Program (CTP) to eligible Chinese travellers with the addition of five new cities: Xiamen, Fuzhou, Chengdu,Shenyang and Harbin. The CAC supports economy-boosting initiatives like CTP that encourage air service development by increasing the number of visa-free travellers transiting through Canadian airports en route to and from U.S. destinations—at little cost and no threat to Canada’s national security.
“Expansion of visa-free travel to more cities in Asia is good not only for Canada’s international hub airports but also for the wider airports community that can benefit from increased connectivity to new destinations,” said Daniel-Robert Gooch, president of the Canadian Airports Council. “We welcome the government’s announcement today becauseChina is an extremely important aviation market for Canada. We urge further expansion of CTP to more countries and carriers in Asia with the eventual goal of Transit Without Visa (TWOV) for the international-to-international traveller segment.”
Today’s announcement builds on the government’s decision in May to expand the CTP to Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda and Seoul Incheon, three major hub airports in east Asia. More transit traffic through Canada’s airports resulting from the TCP and TWOV benefits the Canadian economy in a number of ways, notably by making certain routes economically viable that otherwise would not exist and by bolstering international trade with key Asian markets. Expansion of these programs is essential for the Canadian air transportation industry to operate on a competitive playing field globally. The Conference Board of Canada estimates that just 5% of Asia-U.S. transit traffic flowing through Canada’s hub airports would result in 3,200 jobs, $270 million in GDP and $110 million in revenues to government.