What Is Cabotage, And How Does It Impact Air Charter Service Dubai 

Air Charter Service
32 / 100

Cabotage is a term that is commonly used in the aviation industry. To describe the transportation of goods or passengers between two points within the same country by an airline from another country. In recent years, cabotage has become an increasingly important issue for air charter service Dubai. This article seeks to explore the impact of Coastal Shipping on air charter services. 

Definition of Cabotage 

Cabotage is a term that originates from the French word “caboter”, which means to sail along the coast. In the aviation industry, cabotage refers to the transport of passengers or goods. Between two points within a country by an airline that is registered in another country. Coastal Shipping regulations are typically designed to protect domestic airlines from foreign competition. 

Coastal Shipping is regulated differently in different countries and regions. In some countries, such as the United States. Coastal Shipping regulations are strict and only allow domestic airlines to transport passengers and goods within the country. In other countries, such as those in the European Union, It is allowed for foreign airlines under certain conditions. 

Cabotage Laws and Air Charter Services 

Coastal Shipping laws can significantly impact air charter services. By restricting or limiting the ability of foreign aircraft and crews to transport passengers or cargo between two domestic points within a country. In countries with strict Coastal Shipping laws. Air charter companies may face significant limitations and challenges in terms of the routes they can fly, the services they can offer, and the markets they can access. 

  • In the United States, the Jones Act, which is a Coastal Shipping law that applies to maritime transportation. limits the transportation of goods between two U.S. ports to vessels that are U.S.-built, U.S.-owned, and U.S.-crewed. Similarly, in Canada, foreign air carriers are generally not allowed to operate domestic air services. Only Canadian carriers are permitted to transport passengers between two points within the country. 
  • In Europe, Coastal Shipping laws are regulated by the European Union. Which has liberalized the market and allowed for greater competition among air carriers. However, individual countries may still impose their own restrictions on Coastal Shipping . Which can impact the ability of air charter companies to operate within certain markets. 

The impact of Coastal Shipping laws on air charter services can be significant. As they can limit the routes and destinations available to charter clients and increase the costs of operating within certain markets. In some cases, air charter companies may need to partner with local operators. Or establish subsidiaries within a country in order to comply with cabotage regulations and offer their services. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of Cabotage Laws 

Coastal Shipping laws have both benefits and drawbacks, and they can have a significant impact on the air charter industry. 

The benefits of Coastal Shipping Laws are: 

  1. Protection of domestic carriers: Cabotage laws protect domestic carriers by limiting foreign competition in the domestic market. Which can help domestic companies maintain their market share and profitability. 
  2. National security: Cabotage laws can also help maintain national security by ensuring that only domestic carriers are operating within the country’s borders, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or security breaches. 
  3. Regulatory control: Cabotage laws can help ensure that the regulatory bodies have control over the carriers that operate within their jurisdiction, ensuring that safety and other regulatory standards are met. 

The drawbacks of Cabotage Laws are: 

  1. Increased costs: Cabotage laws can lead to increased costs of an air cargo charter for consumers, as the lack of competition can result in higher prices. 
  2. Reduced innovation: Cabotage laws can reduce innovation in the industry by limiting the entry of new players and reducing the incentive for existing players to innovate. 
  3. Limited options: Cabotage laws can also limit the options available to consumers, as they may not have access to the same range of services and carriers as they would in a more open market. 

Overall, the impact of cabotage laws on the air charter industry depends on the specific regulations in place and how they are enforced. While they can offer benefits in terms of protection and regulatory control. They can also limit competition and innovation, and potentially result in higher costs and limited options for consumers. 

Cabotage Regulations for Air Cargo Charter Around the World 

There are different cabotage regulations around the world that impact air charter services. Here are some examples: 

  • United States: The Jones Act, a federal law that applies to waterborne transportation. Restricts cabotage for vessels that travel between US ports to vessels that are built, owned, and crewed by US citizens or permanent residents. 
  • European Union: In the European Union, Coastal Shipping regulations are governed by the European Commission’s Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008. The regulation allows EU airlines to perform cabotage within any EU member state but restricts non-EU airlines from performing Coastal Shipping in the EU. 
  • Australia: The cabotage regulations in Australia are governed by the Australian Government’s Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012. The act regulates the movement of goods by sea between Australian ports and requires that foreign vessels obtain a temporary license to perform cabotage. 
  • Canada: The Coastal Shipping regulations in Canada are governed by the Canada Transportation Act. The act limits cabotage rights for foreign carriers in Canada and requires them to obtain a permit to perform cabotage. 
  • China: In China, cabotage regulations are governed by the Chinese Ministry of Transport’s Administrative Provisions on Domestic Airline Transport Operations. The regulations require that domestic airlines have priority for Coastal Shipping services, and limit foreign airlines’ Coastal Shipping operations in China. 
  • Brazil: Cabotage regulations in Brazil are governed by the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency’s Resolution No. 89. The resolution limits Coastal Shipping rights for foreign airlines and requires them to obtain a permit to perform Coastal Shipping. 

These are just a few examples of Coastal Shipping regulations around the world. It is important for air charter companies to understand these regulations and how they may impact their operations in different countries. 

How Charter Flights Companies Navigate Cabotage Restrictions 

Air charter companies use a variety of strategies to navigate cabotage restrictions. For example, some air charter companies may partner with local airlines to offer their services to certain destinations within a country. Other air charter companies may operate flights from neighboring countries and transport passengers and cargo across borders. 

Innovative approaches have also been developed to overcome Coastal Shipping restrictions. For example, some air charter companies have started using smaller aircraft to offer their services to remote destinations that are difficult to reach by commercial airlines. Others have started offering “empty leg” flights. Which are flights that are operated without passengers in order to reposition the aircraft for its next flight. 


Coastal Shipping laws have a significant impact on the air charter industry. While Coastal Trade laws can help protect domestic airlines from foreign competition. They can also limit competition and raise prices for consumers. Charter flights must navigate Coastal Trade restrictions in order to offer their services to customers around the world. As new technologies and innovative approaches are developed. It is likely that the impact of Coastal Trade laws on the air charter industry will continue to evolve.