Canada: China Transit Program Expanded to 5 More Cities

Airlines and Aviation

China Transit Program is expanded to 5 more Chinese cities, allowing airline passengers travelling to the United States to transit at 2 Canadian airports without having to secure Canadian visas.

Canada’s China Transit Program (CTP) has been extended from Bejiing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Taipei to the following 5 Chinese cities: Chengdu, Fuzhou, Harbin, Shenyang, and Xiamen.

The programme allows Chinese passengers heading for the United States to transit at Canadian airports without having to secure Canadian visas.

Under the scheme, Chinese travellers holding a confirmed onward ticket for a direct flight to the United States can transit through either Vancouver International Airport in British Columbia or Toronto’s Person International Airport (Terminal One only) in Ontario, providing their connecting flight departs on the same day that their arriving flight arrives.

Layovers and overnight stays are not allowed. Passengers’ last point of embarkation must be one of these cities as well as the following cities outside Greater China: Manila in the Philippines; Seoul, Korea; and Tokyo, Japan.

To qualify, travellers must hold valid passports issued by the People’s Republic of China and a valid visa to travel to the United States.

Effect on Canada’s Aviation Industry

According to the Canadian Airports Council (CAC), allowing more travellers to transit through Canadian airports to travel destinations in the United States without having to secure a Canadian visa will encourage airlines to launch more flights to Canadian airports.

“Expansion of visa-free travel to more cities in Asia is good not only for Canada’s international hub airports but also for the wider airports community that can benefit from increased connectivity to new destinations,” says Daniel-Robert Gooch , president of the Canadian Airports Council.

“We welcome the government’s announcement today because China is an extremely important aviation market for Canada . We urge further expansion of CTP to more countries and carriers in Asia with the eventual goal of Transit Without Visa (TWOV) for the international-to-international traveller segment.”

The move will cost little and pose no threat to Canada’s national security. The Conference Board of Canada estimates that just 5% of Asia-U.S. transit traffic flowing through Canada’s hub airports would result in 3,200 jobs, $270 million in GDP and $110 million in revenues to government.

Airports React

A spokesman for Vancouver International Airport (YVR) says the Vancouver Airport Authority supports the move.

“Today’s announcement delivers on the promise Minister Alexander made last May to further expand the programme, heralding a tremendous opportunity for YVR to grow as a world-class, sustainable connecting hub,” says Craig Richmond , President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority.

“This is exactly the kind of decisive policy action that YVR needs to continue providing opportunities for travel and trade, creating jobs and driving dollars into our economy.”

The scheme applies to passengers flying on the following airlines: Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Air China, Air Georgian, Cathay Pacific Airwats , China Southern, Jazz Air, Philippines Airlines, Sky Regional Airlines Inc., and WestJet.


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