Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is hitting back at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s placing his country’s air safety rating under review, with expectations of a downgrade, and the implications for limiting new flights to the U.S. by Mexican airlines and placing constraints on the ability of U.S. airlines to codeshare with Mexican carriers.
According to the Mexico’s President,
- There is nothing wrong with his country’s air safety regulators and processes
- This is a protectionist move to help U.S. airlines at the expense of Volaris and Grupo Aeromexico.
The U.S. – Mexico aviation market is currently the largest international market in the world, driven by American tourists fly to Cancun, Cabo, and elsewhere. Although limits of Aeromexico service would also injure U.S. carrier Delta which has a joint venture with the Mexican carrier that dates to 2017. This would be especially injurious to codeshare activity, selling flights not just to Mexico but connecting flights deeper into Mexico.
However Obrador also says such a move wouldn’t matter to Mexican carriers “because they are more dedicated to internal transportation,” that their domestic market focus is large relative to current operations to the U.S. Seemingly unsure of which message he’s supposed to be touting he’s quoted as saying that “Mexican airlines could be hurt” by such an FAA move as well.
Obrador was closer to President Trump than President Biden, with the last U.S. President calling him “really great guy” and privately referring to him as “Juan Trump” as though the two were cut from the same cloth. For his part, Obrador last summer took a Delta connecting flight in coach through Atlanta to meet with Trump.