Definition of cabotage in English:



mass noun
  • 1The right to operate sea, air, or other transport services within a particular territory.

    • ‘However, the big sticking point is what's known as cabotage - foreign carriers flying flights between two U.S. cities.’
    • ‘A clear majority felt that modified sixth freedom and tag-end cabotage would benefit travelers and airlines over time, with tag-end cabotage identified as more beneficial.’
    • ‘The Green Party has been supporting the unions in terms of getting cabotage, where local freight is carried by local carriers.’
    • ‘In my view, he has two options: go with cabotage, which is what the seafarers want; or go with a favourable tax regime like a tonnage tax, which the British have.’
    • ‘In International Law, cabotage is identified with coasting-trade so that it means navigating and trading along the coast between the ports thereof.’
    1. 1.1 Restriction of the operation of sea, air, or other transport services within or into a particular country to that country's own transport services.
      • ‘No, I do not support cabotage, because cabotage adds a cost to users of ships, and it makes them less competitive.’
      • ‘This state of affairs arises from a little known regulation called cabotage or the provision of commercial domestic air services within a country.’


Mid 19th century (in the sense ‘coastal trade’): from French, from caboter ‘sail along a coast’, perhaps from Spanish cabo ‘cape, headland’.