Emirates Gets Formal Approval For Mexico City Flight

Filed Under: Emirates

After quite a bit of uncertainty, it looks like Emirates has formally been given the go-ahead to launch flights to Mexico City via Barcelona as of next month.

Why Emirates’ Mexico City Flight Has Been In Limbo

Long story short, Emirates has been wanting to fly to Mexico City for years, but they haven’t been able to fly the route nonstop from Dubai in both directions due to the altitude of Mexico City (which makes it impossible to operate the eastbound flight nonstop).

So they’ve been looking for intermediate points through which they can operate the service. After trying to make things work for a couple of years, they finally got permission to operate the flight via Barcelona, with pick-up rights there (meaning you can fly Emirates exclusively between Barcelona and Mexico City).

Everything was in order and the flight went on sale, but not surprisingly Aeromexico heavily objected to this flight. Aeromexico is part owned by Delta, so you can probably guess what their argument was (“heavily subsidized Gulf carriers are taking away our jobs!”).

In early October a judge in Mexico blocked Emirates’ new flight. Emirates has said all along that they plan to fight this, arguing that a judge couldn’t overturn the air services agreements signed between two governments.

There’s a positive development on this front…

Emirates Receives Formal Approval For Flight

Arabian Business reports that Emirates has now officially been granted permission to operate flights between Dubai and Mexico City by Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transport.

Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ SVP of Commercial Operations in the Americas, said the following:

“We are pleased to confirm that Emirates has now obtained the permit for our forthcoming Dubai-Mexico City flight via Barcelona. We would like to express our thanks to the authorities in Mexico who have granted us the necessary permit and slots required for operating our flights.”

Responding to criticism about Emirates’ business model and the impact this has on jobs in Mexico, Obaidalla said the following:

“Emirates is commercially managed, financially transparent and receives no government subsidies and we are very confident our new route between Dubai and Mexico City will help boost both tourism and commerce.

We look forward to contributing further to the Mexican economy, stimulating job creation and generating significant social benefits for Mexico City and the country as a whole.”

As a reminder, the airline will operate the flight daily with a 777-200LR using the following schedule:

EK255 Dubai to Barcelona departing 3:30AM arriving 8:00AM
EK255 Barcelona to Mexico City departing 9:55AM arriving 4:15PM

EK256 Mexico City to Barcelona departing 7:40PM arriving 1:25PM (+1 day)
EK256 Barcelona to Dubai departing 3:10PM arriving 12:45AM (+1 day)

Bottom Line

It’s great to see that Emirates has now formally received permission to launch this flight, and it will kick off in just a few weeks. This will be a fantastic new option both for those traveling from the Middle East or India to Mexico City, as well as for those traveling exclusively between Barcelona and Mexico City.

  1. “they haven’t been able to fly the route nonstop from Dubai in both directions due to the altitude of Mexico City (which makes it impossible to operate the eastbound flight nonstop).”

    @Lucky, can you explain what this means? What does the altitude have to do with operating the eastbound flight nonstop?

  2. @James

    I believe the plane doesn’t have the fuel capacity to compensate for the winds when flying eastbound… and the high altitude of Mexico City… Those two factors together are beyond the limits of the 777-200ER.

    I THINK….

  3. James:

    Fuel load restrictions due to lack of lift at high altitudes.

    Do we know when these new flights will commence?

  4. @Lucky – Award seats are already available on Alaska website. 82.5k miles + $75 for a one-way business class from DXB-BCN-MEX, starting December

  5. @James – Mexico City is at almost 8,000 ft of elevation. At this elevation, the air is a good bit thinner (which you will notice if you try to climb a few flights of steps). This reduces the weight at which an aircraft can take-off, and for ultra long haul flights this often means that they cannot take off carrying enough fuel to complete the non-stop flight. A number of airports such as Mexico City, Addis Ababa, and Bogota have this issue.

  6. “This will be a fantastic new option both for those traveling from the Middle East or India to Mexico City”….just how many Indians or others from the Indian sub-continent travel to Mexico City?

  7. Isn’t the fastest way from India to Mexico, by way of North America? Connect in NYC or Chicago — or if visas are a problem, Montreal or Toronto.

  8. “… and receives no government subsidies.” That is a bold face lie, plain and simple.

    The Dubai government subsidizes the cost of fuel for Emirates at DXB, which is a huge subsidy considering that 1/2 of the airline’s flights originate there. The government also covers most of the cost of terminal and gate space at the airport. The ground handling and catering company, Dnata, is part of the same group as Emirates and gives sweetheart deals to the carrier that it does not give to other airlines.

  9. As Sam posted, Emirates receives many “deals” that other carriers don’t. Discounts on fees at DBX are what I’d consider a subsidy. Slave-like wages to foreign flight crews? Sure – why not! Their business model would never be successful on the true open market. Add in the fact that Dubai is a gay-hating Disney-in-the-desert and Emiratis would never, gasp, be caught serving food or drink to someone. They won’t get a penny of my money and I find it interesting that anyone with any sense of human or LGBT rights or social justice would support them.

  10. It’s amazing how fast people forget all the human rights violations the ME3 carriers and their countries commit as soon as they set foot upon one of their gaudy airplanes financed with oil money-myself included! Love flying them but one can’t forget just exactly what these countries do and stand for.

    Okay getting off my soap box now…

  11. Hot and high airports affect takeoff performances on planes, and in long/ultra haul flights, affects them severely by limiting the payload they can carry for takeoff.

  12. Yippie! Now, I can avoid flying into the usa from Mexico to get to Dubai on an Emirates flight. Excellent!

  13. Thank god for that. I’m going to Mexico City tomorrow and because BA charges such ridiculous prices the best way for me to get there is via Atlanta in virgin/delta. A short hop to Barca from Manchester then straight to Mexico City will be so much easier (and a HELL of a lot cheaper!)

  14. Keeping my fingers crossed that it is actually true! This may make trips to Viet Nam, Sri Lanka, and other favorite places for me, less long and more direct.

    @Marco….actually, in CDMX, we have a number of Indian and Pakistani people living and working…so all traffic need not be in only one direction DXB-MEX.

    Could be a nice addition to RTW routings!

  15. @Marco
    Mexico City in comparison to the United States? That makes no sense. They fly from 12 airports in the USA.

  16. Juan M is correct.In short the aircraft is Performance Limited. All the V- speeds are increased,as are the ground speeds.In Layman’s terms everything takes longer to occur,because the engines are not developing Sea Level thrust,so acceleration is far slower. In actual fact the aircraft could carry enough fuel for the entire flight out of Mexico City,but the payload would be negligible,& as we all know,payload ,generates profits.The tailwinds are only relevant at cruise altitudes.

  17. It’s my understanding AM has a tech stop in Tijuana or Monterey for their Asian flights due to altitude. Perhaps if they increased the runway length they could do it nonstop. What ever happened to the new airport they were going to build with longer?

  18. @Ross

    Nobody sane would connect international-international through a US airport. US has so far been unable to provide sterile transit facilities so you would have to pass through immigration, customs and “TSA security” which adds about half a day of unnecessary hassle to your already long trip.

  19. @Ron

    That’s why I suggested Toronto. However, staying in the lower latitudes probably adds more than half a day, seated to encourage clots. And one stop is generally better than two.

  20. @Sam why do you care, you don’t get a cent extra flying on a non subsidised airline.

    I salute Emirates for taking on Delta and the rest of the American boo boys. They mainly exist to destroy inflight experience. There are LCCs or budget carriers to cater to that market, we don’t need more cross interpretations.

  21. @Brad
    AM used to have a stop in Tijuana for the Tokyo flight, but that has been removed, and they operate non stop in both directions now.

  22. Great move for Tourism to Mexico and massive opportunity for Emirates to source outbound traffic from this incredible city.

  23. “Costs 105K ALASKA miles for a OW Business Class award MEX-BCN. A little steep don’t you think?”

    Agreed – especially since the full DXB-MEX-BCN is only 82.5k Alaska miles!

  24. Air Canada can get you from Delhi to Mexico City in 23 hours, connecting in Toronto from a 777 to an A319. ANA takes 24 hours going the other way, on 787s through Narita. Lufthansa does it in 27 hours, on 747s through Frankfurt.

    Since just Dubai to Mexico City through Barcelona takes 21 hours, I doubt that many passengers from India will choose that route unless they have miles to burn on Emirates.

  25. @ Doug: Great insight on the High Altitude. I have always wondered why Ethiopian Airlines have stop overflights into North Americas, either via Dublin in Ireland for Washington, Chicago and Toronto Flights. Then, Lomé in Togo or Abidjan in Ivory cost for New York Flights, Yet all Return to Addis Ababa are Direct Non-Stop.

  26. Amazing news!!! This is the time for the new administration to reinforce a healthy and fair competition in this topic. I can see new opportunities for all travelers who don’t have an American tourist visa and can’t travel in transit, going straight to Europe and the rest of the world. Such a great travel experience!
    We are tired to maintain the aviation monopoly, we need a change, Thank you Emirates Airlines!

  27. @Itzel

    100% agree with you! Fantastic news. I just took an Emirates flight to Dubai. I live in Mexico City. I flew to Tucson, AZ then LAX to catch the flight to DXB. Starting in December I can bypass all that madness in the U.S. and just do a pit stop to Barcelona and on to Dubai!

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