New Emirates flights into Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary would bring $480 million of economic benefits and over 2,800 jobs to Canada, new research shows.
The study by independent transportation and tourism experts InterVISTAS Consulting, was revealed by Emirates Airline and British Columbia Transportation Minister Shirley Bond, on behalf of Premier Gordon Campbell, in Vancouver.
The research outlined the projected increase in tourism spend, taxes and economic activity resulting from the proposed services, which would significantly increase passenger traffic and cargo export capacity.
“Emirates Airline is seeking federal government approval to progressively increase connections between Canada, the Middle East and Asia,” said Andrew Parker, Senior Vice President International Affairs at Emirates. “By growing leisure and business traffic, we can help to strengthen Canada’s tourism, trade and investment sectors ” as well as increase traffic for domestic airlines.” “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,” said Transportation Minister Shirley Bond.“As a province and a country, we need to capitalize on services like those offered by Emirates Airline to realize our full economic potential.” “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,” said Premier Ed Stelmach. “We will continue to urge the federal government to pursue more open sky agreements to help strengthen our province’s business and tourism opportunities.”
InterVISTAS, whose clients number airports, airlines and governments around the world, including Transport Canada, concluded the study in early 2010. The research examined the impact of Emirates increasing its current three-weekly Dubai to Toronto flights to daily and double-daily services, and adding a daily service to Vancouver and Calgary.
The study highlighted the creation of an additional 27,000 tons of cargo export capacity for Canadian goods between Canada, Dubai and points beyond. Currently, demand for cargo space for Canadian goods on Emirates flights exceeds capacity, with space routinely sold out months in advance.
“This survey confirms our long-held belief that Emirates can act as an important facilitator for economic growth in Canada,’ added Andrew Parker. “Not only would the services create new jobs, increased tax revenue and tourism spending; but through our extensive global network, we would provide Canada with enhanced links between businesses and greater access to international capital and trade markets.”
Canada’s domestic carriers stand to benefit significantly from the projected growth in foreign tourists and business travellers. No Canadian carrier has ever offered direct flights to Dubai, which is not only a strategic hub for the Middle East but also a key gateway between East and West. (Reuters)