Facilitating travel for Chinese transit passengers through Canada
Ottawa — Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander is adding new departure cities to the China Transit Program. This program allows eligible Chinese travellers to transit visa-free through Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport when they are en route to and from the United States.
Five additional departure points will be added to the program: Xiamen, Fuzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang and Harbin. They are joining a number of other cities that are already part of the program: Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Manila, and Taipei as well as Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda and Seoul Incheon. These last three cities were added to the program this past May.
China-based Sichuan Airlines currently offers three direct flights weekly from Chengdu to Vancouver. It is hoped that the addition of Chengdu and the other new departure cities to the CTP will encourage airlines to add more routes to Canada and that Chinese travellers will choose Toronto and Vancouver as transit hubs.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with air industry stakeholders to make it easier for international travellers to transit through Canada while still protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians.
– The Canada-China Air Transport Agreement, which was last updated in 2013, facilitated an almost 14 percent increase in Canada and China air traffic between 2013 and 2014. In 2014 the Canada-China market generated 1.5 million one-way passenger trips, making it Canada’s fifth largest international air transport market.
– Canada welcomed nearly 361,000 visitors from China in 2014, an increase of 34 percent from the previous year. In addition to temporary resident visas, nearly 25,000 people from China became permanent residents in 2014. Canada also welcomed a record 65,600 students from China in 2014.
– In 2014, China was Canada’s second-largest export market, with exports valued at nearly $19.3 billion, an increase of 45.7 percent over the past five years.
In order to facilitate deeper trade and travel ties with Chinese visitors to Canada, a new visa office will soon be opening in Guangzhou, further expanding CIC’s presence in China.
“The further expansion of an extra five Chinese cities to the China Transit Program demonstrates our government’s commitment to increasing travel through Canada’s major transit hubs, bringing economic growth and diversity to our airline, trade and tourism sectors. The additional passengers transiting through Vancouver and Toronto will bring with them revenue for airlines, airports and retailers through landing fees and spending by travellers. I will continue to work with the industries involved to find new ways to facilitate travel for transiting passengers.”
— Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister
“By expanding the China Transit Program our government is demonstrating its commitment to facilitating legitimate trade and travel. The expansion of this program will support economic growth by attracting more business to Canada and ensuring our airlines remain competitive in the global market.”
— Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness