The measure limits code sharing between Mexican and US airlines, which will impact connectivity.
The United States lowered Mexico’s air safety rating on Tuesday, but what does that mean?
The move indicates that the Mexican government lacks adequate oversight of aviation security.
With the downgrade to category 2 from category 1, the federal administration will have to re-align itself to the rules of the International Aviation Safety Assessment Program (IASA).
As long as this category is maintained, Mexican air operations will not be able to increase in the US market, the most important for the country, according to statements by the Secretary of Press and Publicity of the Union Association of Pilots Aviators of Mexico (ASPA), José de Jesús Suárez Valdez, to W Radio.
Existing operations are maintained, but for example, if an airport in Mexico does not have flights to the United States and wants to open them, it will not be able to while the country maintains category 2.
In addition, the codes shared between Mexican and American airlines are limited, that is, if you bought a ticket with a Mexican firm to fly on a United States airline, you will have to reissue the ticket and that implies loss of connectivity.
Through a shared code, a person can buy a ticket to fly, for example, from Atlanta to Guadalajara on a Mexican or United States line, but with the measure announced this Tuesday, that passenger will probably have to buy more than one ticket, the union spokesperson explained to the Carlos Loret de Mola newscast.
The US downgrades Mexico’s air safety rating
The growth plans of Mexican airlines will be affected and a pause will be put in the tourism recovery stage, in addition to putting pressure on the finances of Mexican lines, according to Grupo Monex analyst Brian Rodríguez.
There will be no direct impact on US airlines, which will be able to continue providing services to Mexican cities and could even increase flights. With flights to Europe, Canada, and other regions severely restricted, US airlines now transport around 11% more people to Mexican destinations than in the same period of May 2019 before the pandemic.
With the decision of the United States, Mexico joins eight other nations in category 2 for not complying with international security standards. The countries are Bangladesh, Pakistan, Venezuela, and Thailand.
Audits by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to review ratings look at whether nations have adequate aviation regulations and the ability to enforce them. The standards are set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, an arm of the United Nations.
In 2010, such a measure had already occurred and it took five months to return to category 1, according to José de Jesús Suárez Valdez.
There is US interest in demoting Mexican aviation, says AMLO
AMLO assured that it is not an issue to worry about.
Despite the fact that the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador assured that all regulations are being met, US airlines are seeking a low rating in air safety for our country.
This was stated during his morning conference on Monday, where he specified that his government meets all the requirements.
“YES, IT IS BEING SEEN. ALL THE RULES ARE BEING MET. PREVIOUSLY, THIS MATTER WAS STOPPED, WE HAVE BEEN COMPLYING WITH ALL THE REQUIREMENTS, WE FEEL THAT THIS DECISION SHOULD NOT BE CARRIED OUT BECAUSE WE ARE UP TO DATE, IT CAN BE PROVEN THAT THERE IS NO NO PENDING ISSUES, “AMLO DECLARED IN THIS REGARD.
He assured that if the decision is carried out, the beneficiaries will be the US airlines.
He indicated that in the event that the United States lowers the country’s air safety rating, national lines will not be affected, since they are mainly focused on internal transportation.
“IF THIS DECISION WERE MADE, THE NATIONAL LINES WOULD NOT BE AFFECTED BECAUSE THEY ARE MORE DEDICATED TO INTERNAL TRANSPORT AND FORTUNATELY THERE IS A RECOVERY; THERE HAS BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF FLIGHTS, THERE IS MORE MOVEMENT AT AIRPORTS, BUT IT IS NOT AN ISSUE. DELICATE”
It is expected that in the coming days, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will make the decision to downgrade Mexico from category 1 to category 2, in the air safety rating.
The current service of Mexican airlines in the United States will not be affected, but it will not be able to launch new flights, or marketing practices between airlines.