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Emirates airline lobbies for more access to Canada

Study suggests $480 million will be added to economy.

A leading airline of the United Arab Emirates is urging the Canadian government to allow it more flights to and from Canada, and is using a study promising economic benefits for Canada to make its case.

The airline Emirates released a study Tuesday that said increasing flights between Toronto and Dubai from three times a week to as much as twice a day -- as well as adding daily service to and from airports in Vancouver and Calgary -- would have an economic benefit to Canada of about $480 million a year.

The study, conducted by the Vancouver branch of InterVistas Consulting on behalf of Emirates, said the economic benefits included $115.4 million in new economic activity for airports in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver; $82.6 million in added tourism spending; $246 million in economic spinoffs and $38.1 billion in additional tax revenues.

The study said about 2,860 full-time jobs would be created from the added flights.

It also said such moves would add about 27,000 tonnes of capacity for cargo shipments between Canada and Dubai, and points in-between, noting that current demand often leads to sold-out capacity for months.

The Emirates airline has some allies in the provincial governments of British Columbia and Alberta in achieving its goals.

"This study identifies a great economic opportunity and highlights the need for more progress on open skies agreements to remove barriers to international tourism and commerce," B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell said in a statement released by Emirates.

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach, in the same release, said: "During my recent visit to the United Arab Emirates, it was very apparent that Alberta needs to have direct international air access from key markets like the UAE in order to stay competitive in the global economy."

Emirates said Canada's domestic airlines, which currently offer no direct links to Dubai, stand to benefit from growing demand for passenger and cargo travel between Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

Maryse Durette, a spokeswoman for Transport Canada, said the department is monitoring the situation as to whether more flights are needed between Canada and the United Arab Emirates. But she said the current level of service is considered appropriate.

"There is currently no shortage of seats to meet the demands," she said.

Durette added that Emirates is permitted to use its flight limit to provide services to other cities in Canada, but chooses to have all its direct service to Dubai from Toronto.

Added: Feb-24-2010 Occurred On: Feb-24-2010
By: ogrishaddict
Tags: UAE, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Tourism
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada (load item map)
Views: 6971 | Comments: 0 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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