U.S. prepares to downgrade Mexico air security ranking

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An Aeromexico airplane is pictured on the airstrip at Benito Juarez worldwide airport in Mexico Metropolis, Mexico April 21, 2021.

Edgard Garrido | Reuters

The U.S. authorities is getting ready to downgrade Mexico’s aviation security ranking, a transfer that might bar Mexican carriers from including new U.S. flights and restrict airways’ potential to hold out advertising agreements, 4 sources briefed on the matter mentioned.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s deliberate transfer is predicted be introduced within the coming days and follows a prolonged overview of Mexico’s aviation oversight by the company.

Sources briefed on the matter, talking on situation of anonymity, mentioned the FAA has had prolonged talks with Mexican aviation regulators about its issues. The sources mentioned these issues had not all been addressed following an in-country evaluation.

The sources added that Mexican authorities officers have been knowledgeable concerning the deliberate motion and raised issues.

One airline business supply mentioned the FAA’s issues didn’t contain flight issues of safety however fairly Mexico’s oversight of air carriers.

Downgrading Mexico from Class 1 to Class 2 would imply that present U.S. service by Mexican carriers could be unaffected, however they might not launch new flights and airline-to-airline advertising practices corresponding to promoting seats on one another’s flights in code-share preparations could be restricted.

The motion would imply that the FAA has decided that Mexico doesn’t meet Worldwide Civil Aviation Group security requirements as a part of its security evaluation program.

Mexico has been a high trip spot for U.S. vacationers through the Covid-19 pandemic, spurring U.S. airways to redirect capability they’d beforehand flown to Europe earlier than transatlantic journey restrictions had been imposed final yr.

In April, Mexico was the by far the busiest international air vacation spot with almost 2.3 million passengers on U.S.-Mexico flights. That is greater than 3 times the Dominican Republic, the following highest nation, based on business information.

An FAA spokesman declined to remark.

Mexico’s Communications and Transport Ministry didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Delta Air Lines, which has a codeshare association with Aeromexico, should difficulty new tickets for some passengers booked on Aeromexico flights because of the downgrade, sources mentioned.

Delta and Aeromexico declined to remark.

Delta and Aeromexico, three way partnership companions since 2017, are collectively providing about 3,900 transborder flights in June, greater than some other service, based on international information aviation firm Cirium. Delta owns 49% of Aeromexico however took a $770 million cost on its funding final yr after the service’s Chapter 11 chapter submitting.

Carlos Ozores, an aviation marketing consultant at international consulting and digital providers supplier ICF, mentioned the transfer might impression Delta and Aeromexico’s codeshares, which drive incremental gross sales, and pressure growth-driven low-cost airline Volaris to revisit growth plans to america.

This may not be the primary time the FAA downgraded Mexico’s air security ranking. In 2010, the company downgraded Mexico to Class 2 as a consequence of suspected shortcomings inside its civil aviation authority, then restored its high ranking about 4 months later.

The FAA has mentioned that downgrades imply an aviation authority is poor in areas corresponding to technical experience, educated personnel, record-keeping and inspection procedures. Mexican authorities mentioned in 2010 there was no deterioration of flight security and that the downgrade was as a consequence of a scarcity of flight inspectors.