Canada has one of the largest Lebanese ex-patriot populations in the world but has hitherto not permitted direct flights from/to Beirut due to security concerns and political pressure from the U.S.Today the Honourable Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, announced that the Government of Canada has taken action to improve travel options for passengers wishing to fly from Canada to Lebanon.
Effective immediately, the change will allow Canadian air carriers to make arrangements to sell seats on flights of partner airlines (code-sharing) to and from Beirut, Lebanon. Code-sharing will make it easier for customers and businesses to plan and book their trips. Minister Kenney made the announcement while meeting with Lebanese-Canadians in Montreal, which is home to Canada's largest Lebanese community.
"By enabling this easier travel option between Canada and Lebanon, we are accomplishing some important goals: We are responding to the economic growth that has flourished in recent years between the two countries and we are making it easier for families and friends to plan travel and maintain strong ties," said Kenney. "Today's announcement builds on important action this government has taken to positively impact the Lebanese-Canadian community."
"Since 2006, our government has taken significant action to expand air travel choices for Canadians and open the doors wider to more tourism and business in Canada," said Canada's Transport Minister John Baird. "We believe it is a win-win situation to expand consumer choice in air travel, which is why we have signed or updated air agreements with nearly 50 countries."
Code-sharing opportunities will be available to Canadian carriers designated by the Minister of Transport and authorized by the Canadian Transportation Agency. This is the first time that code-sharing services between Canada and Lebanon by a Canadian carrier will move forward.