LONDON – Emirates will be dropping its plans to operate flights between Dubai (DXB) and Mexico City (MEX).
For the carrier’s Latin American strategy, this is a significant shift in its investment after officials expressed excitement over linking the two cities via a stop in Barcelona (BCN).
The Fifth Freedom flights had originally been approved by the Spanish government, which would grant the Emirati carrier a Dubai-Barcelona-Mexico City link.
Currently, Emirates flies to Chile, Brazil, and Argentina in Latin America. Mexico City would have been its fourth destination in this region of the globe.
Emirates now claims that the route will no longer be commercially viable, as the agreement only managed to secure three weekly flights and not daily operations.
“Emirates regrets to confirm that we have withdrawn our application to operate flights from Dubai to Mexico via an intermediate stop in Spain,” said the airline in a public statement.
The Dubai-based carrier added that even though they had been notified that slots were not an issue at the flight timings requested, “the Mexican authorities have informed us that we will not be able to operate daily services, but only three flights a week.”
The cancelation of Emirates proposed route unfolded after Aeromexico axed its MEX-BCN service plans, citing that the entry of Emirates into this particular market was unfair and predatory.
The Mexican airline’s CEO, Andres Conesa, said in May that he was looking for legal actions against Emirates’ new Fifth Freedom Award on this route, as the awarding of such privilege would endanger Mexican jobs.
Emirates Keeps Mexico’s Doors Open
The Emirati carrier thanked Spanish officials for their “full and generous support” in making everything nearly come into fruition.
“We remain positive about the potential of serving Mexico in the future when the conditions enable us to do so,” added Emirates in its statement.
“Our teams have been working hard with various stakeholders to bring this service to fruition in the three years since the Mexican president invited Emirates to operate this route and open new air links to connect Mexico to the Middle East, as well as key economic markets in Africa and Asia.”
With the opening of Mexico’s New Airport in the future, Emirates might consider flying nonstop from Dubai once it takes delivery of its first Boeing 777-X aircraft.
The current Mexico Airport sits at an altitude of 7,300ft, which would make a nonstop flight to Dubai not viable because of weight restrictions. However, the new 777-X might be able to accomplish the route with its increased engine power and wingspan.