The director of economic analysis at Banco Base said that the reduction in the rating “would delay the recovery of tourism and fixed investment.”
Delta Air Lines will be forced to withdraw its codes on the flights of its partner Aeroméxico if the expected downgrade of Mexico’s air safety rating by the United States government is confirmed, an executive said at a conference.
The planned downgrade would also restrict Aeromexico’s ability to grow in the United States, but would have little overall impact on Delta’s customers, its president, Glen Hauenstein, said at a Wolfe Research conference.
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said last Monday that the United States should not lower the rating of the aviation security of the Latin American country because all the requirements have been met, and considered that, if that were the case, it would not it would affect local airlines.
Reuters exclusively revealed on Friday that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) could announce in the coming days the downgrade of Mexico to Category 2 from Category 1, which will mean that it will not be able to launch new flights, between other consequences.
“All the rules are being met (…) we have been complying with all the requirements, we feel that this decision should not be carried out because we are up to date,” said the president in his usual morning press conference.
The president indicated that behind the eventual decision of the FAA he sees more “a purpose to help US lines,” although he clarified that, if the rating downgraded were to occur, it would not affect Mexican companies in the sector. “It is not a sensitive issue,” he added.
Mexico is the main international air destination for Americans during the Covid-19 pandemic, who have not been able to travel to much of Europe due to restrictions, with almost 2.3 million passengers on flights between the two nations.
“(The rating downgrade) is not just anything,” said Gabriela Siller, director of economic analysis at Banco Base. “In economic terms, it would delay the recovery of tourism, fixed investment, economic growth and employment, particularly in the services sector,” he added.
Sources briefed on the matter told Reuters that the FAA has had lengthy discussions with Mexican aviation regulators about its concerns and that not all have been addressed.
As a result of the rating downgrade, Delta Air Lines, which has a codeshare agreement with Aeroméxico, will have to issue new tickets for some passengers with reservations on Aeroméxico flights.
On the other hand, the US bank Citi highlighted in an analysis document that the measure “would apply to the Mexican aviation system and administration, not to individual airlines.”
The decision, he added, would have “only a minimal impact” on Volaris, since the Mexican airline foresees a growth in operations in operations between the two countries, and could lead Delta to “adjust the cross-border flow”, due to the agreement with Aeroméxico.
This is not the first time the FAA has lowered Mexico’s aviation safety rating. In July 2010, the agency downgraded it to Category 2 and restored its maximum rating about four months later.