Emirates has won the right to operate a fifth freedom flight between Barcelona and Mexico City!
Fifth Freedom Flights are routes that operate between two destinations, neither of which is a home airport of the Airline. This allows airlines to have a follow-on service from its home country to an additional destination. One such example is Seoul – Los Angeles – Rio De Janerio.
But this new route is significant as it will be the first time that the Middle East is connected to Mexico, abit in a roundabout way!
What are the details?
The new daily service will be flying between Barcelona and Mexico City, on, most likely, an Emirates Boeing 777. It will take around 14 and a half hours, approx two hours faster than the current offering in the marketplace. This will be the first service linking the two cities together. The plane will then fly on towards to Dubai to complete the route.
Currently, the quickest way between the two cities is on Iberia via Madrid. This includes a layover of around two hours.
This is great news for Emirates and will really be a profitable route for the Airline. Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.
When is it launching?
Initially Mexico offered the service earlier this year for 3x a week, however, Emirates refused, commenting that they would only accept daily flights.
“Discussions are ongoing with the Mexican authorities on this matter and once the airport authorities in Mexico confirm and approve the daily operation we have the intent to commence service,” – Emirates spokesman
Now that this route has been approved, it is likely that Emirates will begin this service as soon as they can.
Part of the Emirates expansion west
Emirates has already been very aggressive in its expansion to the west. This has led to some friction with US Airlines like Delta, United, and American who ‘suggest’ that Emirates (and it’s fellow Middle Eastern airlines Etihad and Qatar) are being funded by their governments and thus immune to normal market forces (Like the price of fuel that has eliminated so many airlines this year).
Emirates operates scheduled passenger flights to Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale Int’l, Houston Intc’l, Los Angeles Int’l, New York JFK, Newark, Orlando Int’l, San Francisco, CA, Seattle Tacoma Int’l, Toronto Pearson, and Washington Dulles.
To avoid this criticism, these Middle Eastern airlines have taken a variety of different approaches. For example, Emirates with the fifth freedom routes and Qatar, who is funding Air Italy to expand into the US (whilst only ‘owning’ 49% of the airline.
This new route will do great things for Emirates, and customers will be able to enjoy the excellent service (and award availability) on board!
What do you think? Will you be flying on the new Emirates route?