Dubai: UAE officials are hopeful on securing additional landing rights for Emirates and Etihad Airways following an in an improvement in diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates and Canada.

“We’re hoping we will achieve something soon,” said Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi, Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on Monday.

Tense diplomatic relations centred on Canada’s refusal to allow additional landing rights for the UAE carriers eased last year when the two countries foreign ministers met in Abu Dhabi.

Emirates and Etihad each fly direct to Toronto in Canada three-times weekly but are edging for more rights.

Al Suwaidi, speaking to reporters, rebutted comments from Air Canada’s chief executive who last month said he would push back on any move by the UAE carriers to gain greater access to Canada.

Air Service Agreement’s are “between countries and not between CEOs,” Al Suwaidi said.

Calin Rovinescu, the Air Canada CEO and also Chairman of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said in June that he believed the UAE carriers had “adequate” access to Canada.

Whilst relations between the two countries appear to have normalised with Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan recently meeting with his counterpart John Baird in Canada, little has been said publicly about the hotly disputed landing rights that Emirates and Etihad are seeking.