By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Emirates plans to begin flights to Mexico via Barcelona on December 9
A Mexican court has ruled that a legal challenge from Aeromexico is not enough to prevent Dubai-based Emirates from beginning flights to the country from December 9, according to Mexican media reports.
In July, the UAE government signed a bilateral air services agreement with the Mexican government to allow Emirates to operate the route, which will be a so-called ‘fifth freedom’ flight from Barcelona.
However, Aeromexico – which operates direct flights between Barcelona and Mexico City – challenged the Emirates route in court. A judge granted an “amparo” – or constitutional appeal – to stop the air services agreement.
According to Spanish-language Mexican newspaper Reforma, a judge from Mexico’s Collegiate Court for Administrative Matters has ruled that the planned Emirates flights can continue despite the legal challenge.
“An [amparo] does not necessarily affect the validity [of the air services agreement]. Consideration about a decision from a judge is not enforceable, and is not tied to this Collegiate Court,” the newspaper quoted a court decision as saying.
Additionally, Mexican Secretary of Communications and Transport Javier Jimenez was quoted as telling the country’s senate that Emirates “has the option” to operate in Mexico.
“If we denied them, there would be legal challenges from the airline and surely we would lose,” he was quoted as saying.
Emirates declined to comment on the matter. Earlier in October, the airline said it believed that the MoU is still valid and that all its rights “remain valid and in force” pending the outcome of the appeal.
Another Mexican newspaper, El Universal, quoted a statement from the country’s pilots union (ASPA) as saying they still believe that Mexican authorities will eventually side with Aeromexico. The union has previously said that they believe Mexican jobs will be lost as a result of the Emirates route.
"The position of the Secretariat of Communications and Transport can be understood as being cautious, but we are convinced that they will arrive at an appropriate decision, taking into account national interests and the rights of workers,” the ASPA statement said.
Mexico’s Civil Aviation Authority and tourism officials have both expressed their support of Emirates flights to Mexico.
“Mexico supports the launch of the long-awaited flight…which responds to Mexico’s government tourism policy towards opening new markets and strengthening connectivity between the Middle East and Mexico,” tourism minister Miguel Torruco Marqués said in July. “We are eager to receive tourists from this part of the world.”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.