Emirates Gets Final Approval For Scheduled Mexico City-Barcelona (vv) Route After Initial Blockade By Mexican Court

Despite the recent injunction granted by a Mexican court we reported about earlier, Emirates has now received the permission from the General Agency of Civil Aviation to operate a flight between Dubai and Mexico City airports via Barcelona.

The connection Barcelona-Mexico City-Barcelona as Fifth Freedom route was point of contention in Mexico and Aeromexico initiated legal action against the planned route.

The scheduling of the flight was negotiated with and eventually approved by the Mexican government but Aeromexico wasn’t too happy about competition on the MEX-BCN route, especially from a carrier that provides a quality services.

Last month I wrote about Emirates running into trouble as Aeromexico managed to find a judge who would grant an injunction against the planned route.

A judge decided to grant a writ of amparo to Aeromexico that stops the agreement of air services that was signed between the governments of Mexico and the United Arab Emirates which prevents the arrival of Emirates Airlines to our country. …

With this decision the Dubai-Barcelona-Mexico flight as planned by Emirates Airlines will not be able to take place. …

Emirates informed that it will appeal Aeromexico’s writ of amparo which orders the Mexican government to stop any action based on the bilateral agreement between Mexico and the UAE. …

That was a month ago. Now the Yucatan Times reports that the General Agency of Civil Aviation in Mexico has granted final approval to Emirates so they can operate the flight beginning of next month.

Emirates received on Wednesday November 06 2019 the permission from the General Agency of Civil Aviation to operate a flight between Dubai and Mexico City airports, through the use of the “fifth freedom” in Barcelona.

In a statement, the Emirate company said it will begin operations on December 9 with a daily flight from Mexico City International Airport (AICM).

“We are pleased to confirm that Emirates has now obtained permission for our next flight between Dubai-Mexico City through Barcelona (…) We would like to express our appreciation to the authorities in Mexico who have granted us the permission and the necessary slots to operate our flights,” said Salem Obaidalla, senior vice president of Commercial Operations of the Americas at Emirates in a statement.

This is the permit that the Arab airline needed from Mexican authorities to start daily operations as of next month.

The arrival of Emirates raised a legal process between this airline and Aeromexico, who seeks to avoid Emirates from operating in Mexico accusing them of unfair competition, as well as affecting Mexican crews, which occasionally would be affected by the closure of the CDMX-Barcelona operated by the Mexican airline.

In a recent interview, Aeromexico CEO Andres Conesa said Emirates ‘has no business in Mexico’.

Sources with knowledge of the legal process between Aeromexico and Emirates told “El Financiero” newspaper that two of the three injunctions promoted by the Mexican airline are still in force.

It’s clear that Aeromexico wants to fight off competition here. The national carrier flies to Barcelona with a B787 Dreamliner and while the aircraft is new the service is no match to what Emirates would be able to provide. It’s likely that EK would also be cheaper and drive down prices on this route.


Aeromexico isn’t alone in their efforts to battle ME3 carriers that encroach on their home turf. Airlines all over the world have engaged in lobbying efforts and legal action to fight off ME3 airlines and prevent them from operating flight to/from their markets. Some with more, some with less success.

It will be interesting to see if the flight will operate as scheduled or if there further legal battles ahead over this connection. Fifth Freedom flights are quite common and as far as Mexico City is concerned there is also China Southern that flies via Vancouver to MEX. Apparently that hasn’t been an issue so far.