Mexico plans to open 50 routes to the US, after recovering maximum Category 1 air safety
Published by AFP on September 14, 2023
Mexico is gearing up to unveil 50 fresh aviation routes to the United States after successfully reclaiming its maximum Category 1 air safety rating. The shift from Category 2 to Category 1 is significant as it had previously restricted Mexican airlines from introducing new services or routes within US territory.
The Mexican government announced its ambitious plan on Thursday, stating that it aims to launch over 50 new routes connecting Mexico to the United States in the near future. This development is anticipated to cater to more than a million passengers annually, according to a statement from the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications, and Transportation (SICT).
This move is expected to stimulate air cargo transportation, injecting fresh momentum into international trade and logistics in Mexico, particularly given that the United States stands as Mexico’s largest trading partner.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had downgraded Mexico’s aviation safety rating from Category 1 to Category 2 back in May 2021. This decision had been predicated on concerns that Mexican laws and regulations did not meet the minimum international security standards required for Category 1 status.
The downgrade had practical ramifications, including the prohibition of Mexican airlines from launching new services or routes within the United States. Additionally, it prevented US airlines from collaborating with Mexican counterparts to market and sell tickets, although pre-existing services from Mexican airlines to the US remained unaffected.
However, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently revealed on September 9th that Mexico had successfully reclaimed its top-tier aviation safety rating. On Thursday, the FAA officially confirmed this announcement.
In their statement, the FAA indicated that this development will enable Mexico to “add new services and routes to the United States.” This decision underscores the rigorous evaluation conducted by the United States, which assesses the civil aviation authorities of countries whose airlines are seeking to operate within US territory or have existing operations and agreements to do so.
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