Moreover, it is so supremely important that American carriers be protected from foreign competition that the Obama administration has wisely decided that it is better to risk ruining the NHL season than to allow Canadian teams on charter flights to fly between American cities.
In a furious exchange with the Obama administration over the mid-August ruling, Canada has launched its own investigation and will soon close its skies to U.S. sports team charters in retaliation, warns Transport Minister John Baird.This is for the best under this, the best of all possible Administrations with the best of all possible Presidents.
The sticking point is an eight-year-old exemption that had allowed sports and celebrity charters to make several pit stops in American cities. Under existing open skies agreements, regular Canadian airline flights can only visit one U.S. city before returning.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly warns the charter ban will create a complicated "patchwork" of travel that could "wreck havoc" with the oncoming hockey schedule, including early league games in Europe, as teams scramble to book flights under the new rules.