Aeromexico Throws Tantrum Over Emirates’ New Flight To Mexico City

For several years we saw a feud between the “big three” US carriers and the “big three” Gulf carriers. A few weeks ago the governments of the US and UAE came to an agreement regarding this matter, which essentially allows the US carriers to save face while letting the Gulf carriers continue operating as before (of course Delta has spun this to no end).

It looks like another airline is now seeking legal action against Emirates. That airline is Aeromexico, which Delta has a 36% stake in. I guess Delta CEO Ed Bastian and the company’s government affairs team have a bit of extra time on their hands, because this complaint is just ridiculous.

Emirates intends to start flying to Mexico City

For years Emirates has wanted to start flying to Mexico City. The problem is that the airline can’t fly nonstop due to the altitude of Mexico City Airport, which makes it impossible to fly nonstop to Dubai with a full plane. As a result they’ve been trying to launch a fifth freedom flight to Mexico City, allowing them to travel via another country.

In March it was announced that Emirates intends to fly from Dubai to Mexico City via Barcelona. This seemed like a great choice:

  • Barcelona is almost directly on the way between Dubai and Mexico City
  • There’s demand for travel between Barcelona and Mexico City, yet no airline operates the route

It’s my understanding that the route was approved by the relevant Spanish and Mexican authorities, given that this route was truly in the best interest of the flying public, linking two cities that don’t otherwise have nonstop service.

Aeromexico copies Emirates’ flight

In May, Aeromexico announced that they also wanted to start flying between Mexico City and Barcelona. They intended to do so 3x weekly using a Boeing 787 as of November 2018. This represented a service resumption for the airline, as they hadn’t flown the route since 2012.

Competition is a beautiful thing, eh?

The strange thing is that just over a week after Aeromexico started selling seats on this flight they closed reservations without an explanation. I figured there was more to the story, and now we know.

Aeromexico is now seeking legal action over Emirates flights

Aeromexico’s CEO has announced that the airline plans to take legal action over Emirates being granted the right to fly between Barcelona and Mexico City. Why? Because subsidies are evil, the playing field isn’t level, and Mexican jobs are at stake, according to him. The story is only in Spanish, so here’s the translation of what he said:

“We are going to review all the legal mechanisms that are within our reach. We are going to give our battle. It may even affect connectivity, because if they sell subsidized tickets to us they take us out of the market. If they take us out and we are not competitive on our flights to Europe, we will have to reduce the offer.”

“But to allow a non-European airline to fly to Mexico, to allow it to fly to Barcelona, ​​which does not contribute anything because it is subsidized. What they are doing is putting at risk the sources of work in Mexico and we strongly disagree. We can not compete with an airline that receives billions of dollars in subsidies.”

“They do not contribute anything, they must not be here and must not displace Mexican sources of employment. If you want to open a Mexico-Dubai flight we have no problem, but not Mexico-Barcelona.”

Ed Bastian, is that you? Or did Richard Anderson retire from Amtrak and move over to Aeromexico?

Here’s the thing — if Emirates announced they’d fly between Mexico City and Madrid (which Aeromexico serves) I’d see where they’re coming from. But Emirates announced that they’d start service in a market that wasn’t currently served (and that Aeromexico chose not to serve for the past six years). Then Aeromexico copied them, hoping that it would cause Emirates to have their approval for the route revoked, and now they’re angry when it didn’t, and claim it’s not in the public’s best interest.

This is some next level whining on Aeromexico’s part, though my guess is that they’re under the influence of Delta here.

Comments

  1. I don’t understand the altitude of mexico city airport. Why does that make a difference? airplanes fly at a certain altitude and that is way over the altitude of the airport

  2. Seriously, who flies to Mexico city nowadays? Boring and dangerous city. Haven’t seen many travellers from the Middle East.

  3. Got an AmEx offer for Air France this morning – 20,000 MR for $1,000 spend. It was on a personal Platinum card. Not sure if targeted.

  4. This is just ridiculous. Aeromexico is making a fool of itself. Let’s hope Emirates can run the route profitably and be encouraged to expand their Latin American network.

  5. @Janeway

    I just checked my account, I also got the Air France offer as well one for KLM, so hmm potential 40k amex points for 2k spend. Pretty decent!

  6. And the reality is that even with EK 777s J product, I wouldn’t hesitate to fly them over AM. Crap and monopolised service after the sad loss of Mexicana, and now under Delta, they have lost their own voice. It’s a win for customers.

  7. What I cannot wrap my head around is how Mexico does not have a daily MEX-BCN flight when even Brazil has one by JJ.

  8. De La Madrid does not believe that the route will have any significant influx of European visitors due to the route. So the question remains, why is Aeromexico so adamant to attack Emirates?
    Aeromexico actions makes zero sense.

  9. Remember that DL has a JV with AM and they’re slowly purchasing stock on AM. Hence this opinion comes directly from DL, they lost in the US and now they want to take the fight to other countries.

    Delta: Keep Climbing Down.

  10. The claim that Delta is orchestrating this appears to be based on nothing but speculation, conjecture, and surmise. Did you even ask Delta for comment?

    If OMAAT is going to report stories on government affairs and lobbying, it should do so with some journalistic integrity. Readers aren’t served by mere innuendo and rumor.

  11. Calm down this is OMAAT not the Washington Post. The fact that Delta has a 36% stake in Aeromexico takes this out of the speculative realm.

  12. Michael… the higher the Density Altitude of an airport , the worse the performance is. There is less Air traveling over the wings , less Air for the engine to take in When aircraft are cruising at altitude ,indicated airspeed is much lower than ground speed. During take off and landing, indicate airspeed (actual speed of the air moving over the wings) is critical for developing enough lift to get off the ground and the less dense the air is, the longer that is going to take.

  13. I think having both airlines fly this route is better for the flying public. Competition is better than a monopoly.

  14. For someone who prides themselves on being an aviation geek, you certainly turn a blind eye to how impactful subsides are outside your own realm of travel.

  15. @John (aka integrity man) – Yeah right, and if he asks Delta for comment, what do you think they’re going to say? Integrity and US airlines are poles apart.

    Lucky, slightly off topic, but how do you generate those maps in your articles? Simple and yet very descriptive. Thanks!

  16. @Michael Belisle: Hot (ambient temperatures) and high (altitude) airports severely affects engine performance on takeoffs and landings, which have to be compensated with reduced PAX and CARGO carried on, meaning lower profits (if any at all) overall.

  17. @David Blach:

    Ben has covered the subsidies in several articles, to include both the ME3 and US3.

  18. As a consumer, I don’t care who provides me the service or where they come from so long its the best at the best possible price, I’m sold. Even if I am a Mexican I don’t care if my jobs are taken away from AM when EK could offer me one by flying that route. Also I don’t care whether they are subsidized or not, what I want is the best value for my money, and that’s EK.

  19. @Finnish Traveler A lot of people travel to Mexico City, millions actually, which is way more than the number of people that may travel to the angry little town you might be from

  20. @David Blach I agree, in addition I think it’s funny how biased this blog is in terms of praising the ME3 and their shenanigans when in reality any other airline could provide the same service if they had the resources to do so. like literally he could ask for a meal on an emirates flight and have the crew shit on it and he would thank the crew for the extra toppings.

    I was surprised he did not make a post about AM when it announced their new BCN route but the moment his beloved emirates is attacked he makes a post about it, like seriously.

  21. This is like the boy who fails to ask his girl crush out, then gets upset when another boy asks her out and she says yes 😀

  22. @David Blach – please just stop!

    @Eduardo Marquez – The US carriers CAN provide the same level of service offered by the ME3, and in the past they did offer something close. The US3 have chosen to give THAT money/profits to WALL STREET!! Now read that again so that you truly understand.

    Ben loves good carriers, and if DL was better (LMAO) than many of the foreign carriers, Ben would be ALL over them gushing nonstop. I feel his reporting and sometimes fawning is spot on ….for the most part.

    So if Delta and its blind idiot followers stop supporting ALL the profits going to Wall Street and instead demand DL stop complaining and actually invest in a better onboard product/experience in every cabin that can match the QR/EK/JL/NH’s of the world…then people would happily flock to the better carrier. That also includes FA’s that actually enjoy their jobs and do not see the CUSTOMER as the enemy ever!.

    You both are completely blind to the Tens of Billions the US airlines have received from the Government over the years. BILLIONS in various subsidies! So enough with this dribble!

    If Aeromexico wants to play the DL game, good luck! People are just going to despise DL even more than they do. WE KNOW Delta is behind this!!. DL thinks that AM’s complaining helps to back up their failed attempts.

    Is it un-American to fly on the ME3 over US3, no. Should American carriers start offering world class service instead of giving that money to Wall Street?. Yes!

    DELTA AIRLINES we see YOU and your BS and your crap service of an airline. I’m sure VS (meaning DL) will start complaining next week how EK is hurting their DXB flight, not to mention their flights to BGI, UVF, KIN, JNB, PVG, Mars?…and eveeeeeeeeeeerywhere! 😉 😉

    Then KL/AF will kick in, followed by KE.

    Again, Delta Airlines is pure and utter garbage.

  23. Cue the US3 apologists. Let them throw their tantrums to defend their dumpster airlines. These apologists are on the losing end while the rest of us enjoy the superiority of NH, CX, QR, EK & KE. Go on DL apologists.. dont ever expand your horizon.. ever! Keep Climbing Down with Delta!

  24. Fin lander
    Mexico City is anything but a boring city. There is a vibrant culture, wonderful cuisine, art, and museums.

  25. Yep, I cam here to read the whiny comments from the US3 apologists, who conveniently forget about the Fly America Act when they throw their toddler temper tantrums about ME3 airlines. Even more funny is their insistence that US3 airlines have the best product in the world LMAO.

    I am disappointed “Rob” hasn’t blathered his poorly thought out defense of the US3, it’s always amusing to read his comments lol.

  26. @Michael Belisle is called density altitude and affects the engine output needed for takeoff (and also the lift generated by the wings). It’s much different as the output and lift need at cruise altitude/speed.

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