Aeromexico Launching Flights To Barcelona (To Annoy Emirates?)

Filed Under: Aeromexico, Emirates

Aeromexico is launching flights to Barcelona, though their motives may not be as straightforward as you’d assume…

Emirates has been trying to launch Mexico City flights

For several years now, Emirates has been wanting to launch flights to Mexico City. The problem is that there’s no way they could operate a Dubai to Mexico City route nonstop in both directions, given the altitude of Mexico City Airport, which greatly limits the distance planes can fly when departing there.

In early 2018 it looked like Emirates had found a way to make the route work, as Emirates announced that they intended to fly between Dubai and Mexico City as of late 2018. The plan was for the service to be operated via Barcelona in both directions, and Emirates would have pick-up rights there.

So while it looked like this would happen for a long time, in September 2018 there was some bad news, as Emirates canceled plans for this route, as they weren’t being granted the slots they needed.

Fortunately it was just recently announced that the route is back on. At the end of last month, Emirates revealed that they finally got the permission they needed, so the route should be launching pretty soon.

Where Aeromexico fits into all of this

Aeromexico doesn’t fly nonstop between Mexico City and Barcelona, even though it’s a market with a fair amount of demand.

So this is where stuff gets interesting:

  • When Emirates announced they’d fly between Barcelona and Mexico City, Aeromexico immediately said that they would as well
  • A few days later, Aeromexico changed their mind and decided not to launch the route
  • Aeromexico then threw a temper tantrum and threatened to sue Emirates, because clearly they’re under Delta’s influence
  • Just a few weeks ago Emirates got the permission they  needed to operate this route after all, so want to guess what Aeromexico is doing?

Yep, Aeromexico has now announced that they’ll also launch flights between Mexico City and Barcelona. The airline will launch 3x weekly flights between Mexico City and Barcelona as of June 15, 2019, using a Boeing 787-8.

Bottom line

This sure is an interesting saga. First Emirates was going to fly between Mexico City and Barcelona, and then Aeromexico followed them. Then Aeromexico changed their mind and threw a temper tantrum, and Emirates realized they couldn’t launch the route.

Now that Emirates realized they can launch the route, Aeromexico is doing so as well.

  1. Due to internal politics in Barcelona, many companies have pulled out & relocated from Catalunya elsewhere into Spain, often Madrid, meaning that BCN has become less interesting for premium PAX. I don’t have the exact numbers, but there is a reason to Vueling & Level serving BCN.

    That said, because of the “Hispanicidad”, my take is that AM has a natural market to tap on & better be present ASAP before the Spaniards ( and the Mexicans ) get to know the stellar EK service, even food & IEF in Y dwarf any Skyteam airline. I can say that JAL’s service in Y is even better than EK’s, specially that they have 2-4-2 on their 787s & 3-3-3 on their 777s.

    Which reminds me that I disagree on your opinion about JAL’s film offer : I recently flew from NYC to SYD and really enjoyed all the good foreign films ( Chinese, Thai, Taiwanese, Japanese, European ) they had on offer, maybe less than EK, but way more choice overall than most other carriers.

  2. I’m not sure if there is much competition as Emirates hard product is much better than Aeormexico’s. If prices are all equal, people will pick Emirates.

  3. I have trouble seeing AM making this flight work. As @Oneworld pointed out, many large companies moved out of Catalonia and I imagine business demand to/from BCN is much lower than prior to the Oct ’17 referendum. AM might be willing to bleed out some money in the short term, but I’ll give them a year max until they pull out.

  4. Aeromexico sucks…its a terrible airline, bottom of the pack and they are just trying to protect the monopoly that was awarded to them when they bankrupted Mexicana…I hope Emirates beats the living crap out of them!!!!

  5. This outta be fun and the experience on Emirates will be better. But just as Southwest cancelled it’s routes to MEX today from the US, it just goes to show that the Mexican people would rather fly Interjet and Aeromexico. I don’t expect that to change on this route either.

  6. That’s called competition. It’s rational and is pretty common. Why would AM want to cede a key market they can serve?

  7. Guys, just to correct perceptions, it is true that a lot of big companies left BCN as a result of the illegal referendum, but that ‘leaving’ was just changing their office addresses to other parts of Spain. Barely any employees were moved as a result, so premium traffic has not been affected.

  8. @Alonzo, I think you’re underestimating the amount of people (esp. in Europe in this case) that will be very happy to fly EK to Mexico for business or pleasure. So it’s a different crowd than MEX – HOU or DAL hoppers and in any case, I think Emirates will market it better.

  9. While I know you love watching trashy reality shows, you should stop projecting them onto airlines…

    Aeroméxico clearly aren’t doing this as a tantrum or to try and annoy Emirates, they’re doing it to try and keep the passengers who would otherwise switch to Emirates. I do question your judgement when it comes to airline politics…

  10. @Callum – lol you’re completely right. It’s not a “tantrum”, it’s called trying to make profit and keep a monopoly.

  11. Emirates has won the right to operate a fifth freedom flight between Barcelona and Mexico City!

    Fifth Freedom Flights are routes that operate between two destinations, neither of which is a home airport of the Airline. This allows airlines to have a follow-on service from its home country to an additional destination. One such example is Seoul – Los Angeles – Rio De Janerio.

    But this new route is significant as it will be the first time that the Middle East is connected to Mexico, abit in a roundabout way!

  12. Mexicans will still fly Aeromwxico if they have Aeromexico’s Club Premier accounts, and want to enjoy the elite benefits.

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