UAE, Mexican authorities working to establish ‘Fifth Freedom’ flights

UAE ambassador to Mexico Ahmed Hatem Al-Menhali and Mexican minister of communication and transport have explored ways of re-activating fifth freedom flights from Dubai to Mexico through Barcelona, it was announced on Sunday.

According to the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency, the UAE and Mexico have agreed to operate the a direct service between the two countries for seven days within the time slots available following maintenance and technical improvements at Mexico City International Airport.

In September, an Emirates Airline spokesperson told Arabian Business that the airline had withdrawn its application to operate flights from Dubai to Mexico through Spain, following a Mexican government decision to allow on three flights each week.

“Emirates has extended full flexibility in proposing an operating schedule that utilised low demand slots at Mexico City International Airport,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“However, despite previous assurances 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 spokesperson added that three weekly flights “is not commercially viable for us given the resource investment required for such a long distance operation, not to mention the negative impact on connectivity and convenience for our customers.”

In May, Mexican airline Aeromexico’s CEO, Andres Conesa, said it was looking into ways to legally prevent Emirates from launching any “fifth freedom” flights to Mexico through a third country, saying that such a flight would endanger Mexican jobs.

Conesa’s comments came just weeks after Aeromexico announced it was scrapping plans for its own Barcelona-Mexico flights, citing the “unfair” approval.

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