Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Mexican Airlines Reject Opening up Airspace to US

Aviation workers say if an agreement with the United States is reached without proper regulations, it will lead to the disappearance of the national airlines.

Thousands of workers from Mexico's aviation trade unions and students of aviation schools took to the streets and terminal 2 of Mexico City's International Airport to demand the government stop the negotiations of a bilateral agreement with the United States that will allow U.S. carriers to operate without restrictions in Mexico's airspace.

According to the Federation of Air Sector (FEDSSA), if the agreement is reached without proper regulations, it will lead to the disappearance of the national airlines. More than 10 domestic carriers have disappeared in Mexico in the past decade, including the country's oldest airline Mexicana de Aviacion in 2010.

The negotiations are scheduled to take place this week, however protesters demanded they be delayed until "there is an aviation policy capable of ensuring equal competition and anti-monopoly immunity granted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to the Mexican airlines."

Demonstrators also signed a letter in which they demanded the Ministry of Communications and Transport guarantee - during the negotiations with the United States- the “fundamental principles of a state public policy.” They also asked for a “gradual and reciprocal policy” that will allow Mexican airlines to gradually liberalize their air routes to other countries.

DOT has statutory authority to approve and immunize alliances between airlines to fly on international routes.

“The anti-monopoly immunity will allow Mexican airlines in alliance with the U.S, Europe or other countries, to coordinate their schedules and aircraft to operate on the same network and have the same operation at airports. They would also be able to advertise and market their products and services jointly, but only as soon as they have obtained the approval of the competition authorities in the countries where they operate,” the letter said.

The organizers of the protest will present the letter to the Senate, together with a joint document by the two main opposition parties, Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and the National Action Party. They urge the government of Enrique Peña Nieto reconsider the adoption of a policy that opens up Mexican airspace.

- Source:

Mexican aviation workers protest at Mexico City's International Airport on November 4, 2014. (Photo: teleSUR)

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