Emirates Flights to Mexico City Approved for December
In the ongoing saga of on-again-off-again Emirates route between Barcelona and Mexico City, it looks like we finally have some good news.
A little background
To describe Emirates route between Mexico City and Barcelona as a soap opera might be selling it short. Emirates initially announced their intentions to fly the route in 2018. However, Mexico wouldn’t grant Emirates as many slots as they’d hoped. As a result, Emirates canceled their plans. Later that year, Emirates announced the route was back under consideration. The route was finally re-announced in June.
However, earlier this month a Mexican judge blocked the flight between Mexico City and Barcelona at Aeromexico’s request. This initial ruling came in spite of the bilateral air services agreement signed between the governments of Mexico and the UAE. At the time, the judge granted an amparo (constitutional appeal) halting the air services agreement. Apparently, that’s been overruled.
Mexican court rules in favor of Emirates
According to Mexican news outlet Reforma, a Mexican court has ruled that Emirates can begin flying to Mexico City starting December 9th. Another judge ruled that Emirated can operate the flights despite the legal appeal. The court ruling stated:
“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.”
Does this mean that these flights will eventually disappear once the legal process plays out? Probably not. While speaking on the topic, Mexican Secretary of Communications and Transport Javier Jimenez stated:
“If we denied them, there would be legal challenges from the airline and surely we would lose.”
Why is Emirates flying between Barcelona and Mexico City anyway?
Mexico City’s airport is situated at over 7,300 feet above sea level. Due to that altitude, it’s not possible to operate a direct flight between Mexico City and Dubai.
Emirates President Tim Clark had the following to say on the route:
“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. 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.”
Emirates will operate this route using a 777-200LR in a two-class configuration. Business class will have 38 seats in a 2-2-2 layout,. Meanwhile economy class will be tight with 10 across in a 3-4-3 layout. Unfortunately, first class will not be offered on this route.
How to book these flights
While Emirates Skywards isn’t generally my favorite program, this can represent a good use of miles. You can instantly create Emirates miles by transferring points from American Express or Capitol One.
You can also book these flights using Alaska miles. However, at 105,000 miles each way, there are better uses. If you’re sitting on a surplus of Alaska miles and looking to avoid fees, this can make sense. Otherwise, I’d look to another program.
I’m glad to see that Emirates will be able to fly this route while the legal process plays out. It’s always a great to have more options going from North America to Europe. It would have been nice to have a first class option, but Emirates is certainly a welcome addition.