Emirates Given Go Ahead For Mexico City Flights From Government

Following weeks of uncertainty, Emirates has this week confirmed that it has secured permission to operate its Dubai to Mexico City route. The route will operate as a one-stop journey, with a fifth freedom leg between Barcelona and Mexico City. The attempted block of the route has been overturned, and flights will begin on the 9th of December.


Emirates Mexico City
Emirates will begin Mexico City flights in December. Photo: Emirates

Permission granted

Despite being previously blocked from the route, it now seems that the Emirates flights to Mexico City will indeed be going ahead. As reported in Arabian Business this week, Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transport has confirmed that the airline now has the required permission to begin operating routes.

Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ senior vice president, commercial operations, Americas told Arabian Business,

“We are pleased to confirm that Emirates has now obtained the permit for our forthcoming Dubai-Mexico City flight via Barcelona. We would like to express our thanks to the authorities in Mexico who have granted us the necessary permit ad slots required for operating our flights.”

Emirates fifth freedom route
The Emirates fifth freedom route. Image: GCMap

The flights are slated to begin on December 9th and have been welcomed by Mexico’s Civil Aviation Authority and the country’s tourism board.

The announcement follows something of a tussle between the Middle East airline and the Mexican courts, after incumbent airline Aeromexico raised a challenge to the fifth freedom leg of the flight. The issue here was not that Emirates wanted to fly to Mexico City, but that it wanted to do so by way of Barcelona, which is a lucrative route for Aeromexico.

Aeromexico’s attempts to block the route have not been successful. Photo: Tomas Del Coro via Wikimedia

However, Emirates wasn’t installing this fifth freedom leg simply out of a desire to snatch business from the local airline (although that was probably an appealing addition). The reason they needed the Barcelona stop was related to the altitude of Mexico City airport, which would make a direct flight eastwards impossible.

After plugging away at the project for a couple of years, Emirates finally got permission to operate the flights at the start of this year. The flight even went on sale, but Aeromexico wasn’t happy. They raised objections and managed to get a judge to block the flight in October. However, it now seems Emirates has succeeded in its challenge to this ruling and will begin flying next month.

Details of the flights

From the 9th December 2019, Emirates flights to Mexico City will operate daily using a Boeing 777-200LR with the following schedule:

  • EK255: Departs Dubai at 03:30, arriving in Barcelona at 08:00
  • EK225: Departs Barcelona at 09:55, arriving in Mexico City at 16:15
  • EK256: Departs Mexico City at 19:40, arriving in Barcelona at 13:25 (+1 day)
  • EK256: Departs Barcelona at 15:10, arriving in Dubai at 00:45 (+1 day)
Emirates’ 777-200 will arrive in Mexico City in December. Photo: Emirates.

While that return journey looks like jetlag hell, it’s a great connection for worldwide travelers. Landing in Dubai opens up connections all across the expansive Emirates network, making South America a whole lot easier to get to. We’re particularly excited for the shorter Barcelona to Mexico segment, which offers a great opportunity to fly on a luxury carrier to a great destination.