cabotage (kab-<<schwa>>-tij).Int’l law. 1. The carrying on of trade along a country’s coast; the transport of goods or passengers from one port or place to another in the same country. • The privilege to carry on this trade is usu. limited to vessels flying the flag of that country. 2. The privilege of carrying traffic between two ports in the same country. 3. The right of a foreign airline to carry passengers and cargo between airports in the same country.

“Some writers maintain [that cabotage] should be applied only to maritime navigation; in this context one can distinguish between petit cabotage — transport between ports situated on the same sea (e.g. Bordeaux–Le Havre) — and grand cabotage — transport between ports situated on different seas (e.g. Bordeaux–Marseille). However, the term is also properly applied to transport between two inland points on an international river within one State, although the term grand cabotage is sometimes incorrectly applied to transnational transport between the inland ports of different riparian States on the same waterway. River cabotage properly so called is sometimes also referred to as local transport. Finally, the term has also been adopted to describe commercial air transport between airports situated in the same State.” Robert C. Lane, “Cabotage,” in 1 Encyclopedia of Public International Law 519–20 (1992).

[Blacks Law 8th]