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Will They? Won’t They? The Drama Between Emirates Airlines and Mexico City Continues

Will They? Won’t They? The Drama Between Emirates Airlines and Mexico City Continues
Taylor Rains

If you follow airline route news, you know that the fight for Emirates to fly into Mexico City is an ongoing battle that the two have been waging for years. In this latest skirmish, Emirates announced to the world early this year that it would start daily flights to Mexico City International Airport via Barcelona in December.

But this month, shortly after Emirates signed an air-service agreement with the Mexican government granting them the right to fly from Dubai to Mexico City via Barcelona, a Mexican federal judge overturned it in response to a complaint by Aeromexico. They claim that the 2016 pact between Mexico and the United Arab Emirates “did not meet proper legal requirements” and was invalid thus making this air-service agreement invalid as well.

Mexico’s Air Pilot Union (ASPA) claims that Emirates cannot legally operate the Barcelona to Mexico City route because it infringes on a Civil Aviation Regulation stating that the route would be an inequivalent market exchange. The union explained, “Emirates wants to take advantage of a market that does not correspond to it, violating national sovereignty and opening the door for other airlines to do the same, invading the Mexican market and harming national airlines.” Currently, Aeromexico operates a direct flight from Mexico City to Barcelona on their 787 Dreamliner, so the airline could take a big hit if Emirates enters the market.

But, despite this legal setback, Emirates says they will still be flying to Mexico because they believe that their 2016 pact is valid. Said a spokeswoman for the airline, “We firmly believe that the (memorandum of understanding) is valid and the ruling of the court will be the subject of an appeal by the Government of Mexico. Pending the outcome of this appeal all our rights remain valid and in force.”

Aeromexico declined to comment. However, last week, Mexico’s Communications and Transport Minister, Javier Jimenez Espriu, told the newspaper El Financiero that the 2016 agreement was valid and that “Emirates has no legal impediment to operating the flight.” Whether this route will actually happen remains to be seen.


View Comments (2)


  1. trk1

    October 14, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    John Wayne did nothing to deserve an airport named after him. A fake hero. Name the airport for the city or someone who did something positive for the Community.

  2. HCruiseMike

    October 15, 2019 at 8:45 am

    What does the name of a California airport have to do with flights Barcelona to Mexico City?

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