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Qatar Airways boosts Canada network with Porter deal

Posted Thu 09 Aug 2012 02:07:25 pm in News, Business | By News Desk

Qatar Airways has signed an interline agreement with Canadian carrier Porter Airlines as it moves to boost its network in the North American country after authorities refused to grant it additional landing rights.

The deal will enable passengers travelling from Doha on Qatar Airways to connect with a Porter flight in Montreal or Washington and fly to another destination in the latter’s network, Porter's CEO told the Financial Post.

“Qatar is an airline we always thought would be a good fit. We get the benefit of multiple airports and connections with them and that sort of broadens the appeal of the interline arrangement,” said Robert Deluce.

“We feed a fair number of Canadian destinations, and we’re really looking to partner with international carriers that can make use of the flights that we have domestically or on our [US] transborder routes.”

The deal could be expanded to full code-shares by 2014, added Deluce.

Qatar Airways, along with Gulf rivals Emirates and Etihad, has been aggressively lobbying Canada’s transport agency for additional landing rights. The Doha-based airline currently flies three times a week to Montreal.

Qatar’s CEO Akbar Al Baker said in May that the airline was struggling to secure more landing rights in Canada. “Qatar is of course interested in forging even closer ties with Canada but we are struggling with being granted additional landing rights,” he said.

“You Canadians deserve that. It clearly shows the need for more flights. More capacity and more frequency drive greater competition and have only positive economic impact for the benefit of both countries.”

In March it was reported that relations between Canada and the UAE were beginning to warm following a spat over airline landing rights two years ago.

Relations between the oil-rich UAE and Canada deteriorated rapidly after Canada’s transport agency refused to give Gulf carriers Etihad and Emirates new landing rights.

The Gulf state retaliated with the closure of Camp Mirage, a secret military base located outside Dubai and used to supply Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

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