Emirates airline had to include Barcelona stopover due to Mexico City's elevation, said Sir Tim Clark
Emirates airline is set to launch a new daily service to Mexico City via Barcelona from December this year.
The on-off plans to launch flights to the Mexican capital met opposition from local operator Aeromexico, who had been looking into ways to legally prevent Emirates from launching a flight to Mexico via Barcelona. This was despite encouragement from Mexico’s then tourism minister Enrique de la Madrid.
The so-called fifth freedom flight - allowing an airline to fly between two foreign countries so long as the flight originates or ends in the airline’s home country – will start on December 9 and will be operated with a Boeing 777-200LR, with 38 business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 264 seats in economy class.
Emirates said citizens from Mexico, Spain and the UAE only need their passports as there is visa-free travel to each respective country.
The airline added that the new 777 flight will also offer up to 14 tonnes of cargo, opening up access to more global markets for Mexican exports such as avocados, berries, mangoes, automotive parts and medical supplies.
Emirates SkyCargo has been flying freighters to/from Mexico City since 2014 already and in the last year carried over 22,500 tons of cargo on the route.
Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates airline said he expects tourism and trade to receive a significant boost once the route starts. He explained that Emirates needed to operate a stopover due the Mexico City being 2,250 metres above sea level.
“Due to the high altitude of Mexico City airport, it is not possible to operate a non-stop flight from Dubai, and Barcelona was a natural choice for a stopover,” Clark said.
“We are pleased to offer a direct connection on the route between the Spanish city and Mexico City that has long been neglected by other airlines and remains underserved despite the strong customer demand. We would like to thank the authorities and our partners in both Spain and Mexico for their support of the new route and look forward to provide our unique product and award-winning service to travellers.”
Mexico’s Minister of Tourism, Miguel Torruco Marqués, like his predecessor, offered his backing for the new route.
“Mexico supports the launch of the long-awaited flight Dubai-Barcelona-Mexico City, which responds to Mexico’s Government tourism policy towards opening new markets and strengthening connectivity between the Middle East and Mexico,” Marqués said.
“We are eager to receive tourists from this part of the world,” he added.
Mexico City is the first destination in the country for Emirates. Mexico’s capital is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the Americas, accounting for nearly a third of the nation’s GDP.
Located in the Valley of Mexico, the city is famous for its historic centre known as Zocalo, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mexico City is also an important trade and industrial city, specifically in the automotive, medical supplies and pharmaceutical industries.
Dubai is also increasing in popularity with Mexican travellers. In the first 5 months of 2019 alone, Mexican visitor numbers to Dubai have grown by 32% compared to the same period last year.
Emirates flight EK 255 will depart Dubai at 03:30 local time, arriving in Barcelona at 08:00 before departing again at 09:55 and arriving into Mexico City at 16:15 on the same day. The return flight EK256 will depart Mexico City at 19:40 local time, arriving in Barcelona the next day at 13:25.
EK256 will depart once again from Barcelona at 15:10 bound for Dubai where it will arrive at 00:45 the following day, facilitating convenient onward connections to numerous destinations in India, South East Asia and the Middle East.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.