An Emirates aircraft. Image Credit: Gulf News file

Dubai: Emirates has dropped plans to operate flights between Dubai and Mexico City, the airline confirmed on Monday.

This is a sudden reversal of earlier announcements that the UAE-based carrier was looking forward to expanding its network in Latin America by launching a service between the two cities.

Emirates was supposed to fly from Dubai to Barcelona then to Mexico City. The opening of the new route was envisioned to benefit both consumers and businesses between the two cities.

In March this year, Spain approved Emirates’ Fifth Freedom flights to Mexico City from Barcelona, prompting another airliner to withdraw planned services on the same route.

However, Emirates said on Monday that it will no longer be commercially viable to go ahead with the plan, since it only managed to secure rights to operate three flights a week, not daily.

The airline said a thrice weekly service will not be good for the business, given the resource investment required for such a long-distance operation.

“Emirates regrets to confirm that we have withdrawn our application to operate flights from Dubai to Mexico via an intermediate stop in Spain,” the airline said in a statement shared with Gulf News.

“Emirates has extended full flexibility in proposing an operating schedule that utilises low demand slots at Mexico City International Airport. However, despite previous assurances that slots were not an issue at the flight timings requested, the Mexican authorities have informed us that we will not be able to operate daily services, but only three flights a week.”

The spokesperson said the decision is “hugely disappointing” since it has been working hard to implement the plan for quite some time now.

The new service would have benefited consumers and businesses in Spain, Mexico and the UAE, the spokesperson noted.

Mexico became a major trade partner of the UAE in the 1970s. It was in 2008 when the UAE opened its diplomatic mission in the Mexican capital, further strengthening the ties between the two states.

Shortly after Emirates secured the rights to operate from Spain, Aeromexico reported that it has dropped plans to fly between Mexico City and Bercelona.

“Our teams have been working hard with various stakeholders to bring this service to fruition in the three years since the Mexican president invited Emirates to operate this route and open new air links to connect Mexico to the Middle East, as well as key economic markets in Africa and Asia,” Emirates said.

Nevertheless, the airline said it is grateful for the Spanish officials for extending their “full and generous support” in granting all the necessary operating rights for the  route.

“We remain positive about the potential of serving Mexico in the future when the conditions enable us to do so.”