Emirates has confirmed it has abandoned plans to launch flights to Mexico City, via Barcelona.

Earlier this year we reported that the carrier had been granted fifth freedom traffic rights between Barcelona and Mexico City, with plans to launch flights before the end of this year.

But in a statement provided to Business Traveller, Emirates said it had withdrawn its application to operate flights from Dubai to Mexico via Spain.

“Emirates has extended full flexibility in proposing an operating schedule that utilises low demand slots at Mexico City International Airport,” a spokesperson said.

“However, despite previous assurances that slots were not an issue at the flight timings requested, the Mexican authorities have informed us that we will not be able to operate daily services, but only three flights a week.

“Unfortunately, this is not commercially viable for us given the resource investment required for such a long distance operation, not to mention the negative impact on connectivity and convenience for our customers.

“This is hugely disappointing, as our teams have been working hard with various stakeholders to bring this service to fruition in the three years since the Mexican president invited Emirates to operate this route and open new air links to connect Mexico to the Middle East, as well as key economic markets in Africa and Asia.

“We would like to thank the Spanish authorities for their full and generous support in granting all necessary operating rights for the route, which we firmly believe would have benefited consumers and businesses in Spain, Mexico, and the UAE. We remain positive about the potential of serving Mexico in the future when the conditions enable us to do so.”

Emirates had previously hoped to serve Mexico by routing Dubai-Mexico City via Zurich, but this did not come to fruition.