Decision No. 446-A-2013

November 29, 2013

APPLICATION by Société Air France carrying on business as Air France, on behalf of itself and Alaska Airlines, Inc. pursuant to subsection 78(2) of the Canada Transportation Act, S.C., 1996, c. 10, as amended.

File No.: 
M4835/A162-A810

APPLICATION

Société Air France carrying on business as Air France (Air France), on behalf of itself and Alaska Airlines, Inc. (Alaska Airlines), has applied to the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) for extra-bilateral authority and approval to permit Air France to provide a scheduled international service, three times a week, between French Polynesia and Canada by selling transportation in its own name on flights operated by Alaska Airlines between Los Angeles, California, United States of America and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, for an indefinite period or such period as may be authorized by the Agency, beginning on December 1, 2013.

Air France is licensed to operate scheduled international services in accordance with the Agreement on Air Transport between Canada and the European Community and its Member States, signed on December 18, 2009 (Agreement).

There is no provision in the Agreement to permit the operation of a service between Papeete, French Polynesia and Vancouver via Los Angeles as an intermediate point.

Therefore, Air France also requires extra-bilateral authority and its licence must be varied to allow for the provision of services not permitted under the Agreement.

The Agency gave notice of the application to parties that may have an interest, namely Air Canada also carrying on business as Air Canada rouge (Air Canada), Air Transat, A.T. Inc. carrying on business as Air Transat, I.M.P. Group Limited carrying on business as CanJet Airlines, a Division of I.M.P. Group Limited, Sunwing Airlines Inc., WestJet and the Vancouver Airport Authority.

Air Canada filed an intervention in respect of the application.

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

In its reply, Air Canada states that it has no objection to Air France’s request, on the condition that Canadian carriers are granted reciprocal treatment by the aeronautical authorities of France, which ensures that French carriers do not benefit from extra-bilateral approvals to code share on third country carriers, while Canadian carriers are not able to do so.

In its reply to Air Canada’s comments, Air France points out that the operation of international air services between French Polynesia and Canada is overseen exclusively by the French Polynesian authorities. Therefore, a future engagement of reciprocity may only be undertaken by the French Polynesian authorities.

ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS

Authority under subsection 78(2) of the Canada Transportation Act (CTA)

The Agency may grant temporary authority pursuant to subsection 78(2) of the CTA for a service that is not permitted in a bilateral air transport agreement or arrangement.

The Agency has considered the application and the material in support and, in the expectation that favourable consideration will be given by the aeronautical authorities of France and French Polynesia to similar requests by designated Canadian airlines, finds it appropriate to permit Air France to operate a scheduled international service between Papeete and Vancouver via Los Angeles.

With respect to the duration of the authority requested, the Agency considers one year to be appropriate.

Accordingly, pursuant to subsection 78(2) of the CTA, the Agency varies Air France’s licence to the extent necessary to permit it to provide a scheduled international service between Papeete and Vancouver via Los Angeles, through code sharing, beginning on December 1, 2013 to November 30, 2014.

Application under section 60 of the CTA and section 8.2 of the Air Transportation Regulations (ATR)

Air France has also requested an exemption from the application of subsection 8.2(2) of the ATR, which requires the filing of an application for an approval at least 45 days before the first planned flight. The Agency finds that compliance with subsection 8.2(2) of the ATR is impractical in this case. Accordingly, the Agency, pursuant to paragraph 80(1)(c) of the CTA, exempts Air France from the application of subsection 8.2(2) of the ATR.

The Agency is satisfied that the application meets the remaining requirements of section 8.2 of the ATR.

Accordingly, the Agency, pursuant to paragraph 60(1)(b) of the CTA and section 8.2 of the ATR, approves the use by Air France of aircraft and flight crew provided by Alaska Airlines, and the provision by Alaska Airlines of such aircraft and flight crew to Air France, to permit Air France to provide a scheduled international service, three times a week, between French Polynesia and Canada by selling transportation in its own name on flights operated by Alaska Airlines between Los Angeles and Vancouver.

The approval is granted beginning on December 1, 2013 to November 30, 2014, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Air France shall continue to hold the required licence authority.
  2. Air France shall apply its published tariffs, in effect, to the carriage of its traffic. Nothing in any commercial agreement between the air carriers relating to limits of liability shall diminish the rights of passengers as stated in such tariffs.
  3. The air service approved shall only be provided as long as a code-sharing agreement providing for such service remains in effect.
  4. Air France and Alaska Airlines shall continue to comply with the insurance requirements set out in subsections 8.2(4), 8.2(5) and 8.2(6) of the ATR.
  5. Air France shall continue to comply with the public disclosure requirements set out in section 8.5 of the ATR.
  6. Air France and Alaska Airlines shall provide the Agency with a copy of any new agreement or amendments to their code-sharing agreement, including any new or amended annex, without delay.
  7. Air transportation using Air France’s code on flights operated by Alaska Airlines between Los Angeles and Vancouver shall not be sold separately and shall only be available to traffic carried on a continuous journey under Air France’s code between French Polynesia and Canada. No local traffic may be carried under Air France’s code between Los Angeles and Vancouver.
  8. The approval does not apply to the carriage of cargo.

In all other respects, the service shall be operated in accordance with the Agreement.

Member(s)

Raymon J. Kaduck
Date modified: