Reports in the Spanish media indicate that Emirates has been awarded fifth freedom traffic rights between Barcelona and Mexico City.
It therefore means that Emirates will be able to add Mexico City to its route network.
Emirates will be the first of the Gulf airlines to serve Mexico which will give it a competitive advantage.
This development will provide Barcelona and Catalonia with three daily flights to Dubai. Two of these already exist. The third service, after it arrives from Dubai, will continue from Barcelona to Mexico City.
Emirates has fifth freedom traffic rights (which means it can carry passengers between Barcelona and Mexico City).
According to the aviation ministry in Dubai, Emirates says it wishes to start the route as soon as possible which hopefully would mean it would commence before the end of 2018.
It is understood that Emirates will be offering 95,000 seats (between Barcelona and Mexico City) in each direction a year.
What aircraft type is likely? As it’s a new route it would make sense to start with one of Emirates’ smaller B777s such as the 200 series.
This B777 variant is being upgraded and will soon feature six-across business class seating (2-2-2) as against seven-across (2-3-2) as found on this airline’s other B777 versions.
Emirates had hoped to serve Mexico City two years ago by routing Dubai-Mexico City via Zurich. But the Swiss aviation authorities were not receptive to the idea (hardly surprising considering the Swiss national airline is a Lufthansa subsidiary and the latter and Emirates are hardly the best of friends).
Why cannot Emirates fly Dubai-Mexico City non-stop ?
It’s because Mexico City airport lies at high altitude and this impacts on take-off performance and range.
So while Emirates could fly non-stop Dubai-Mexico City it would be unable to do the same on the way back.
Business Traveller will keep you updated with developments.