Emirates airline has officially been granted permission to operate flights between Dubai and Mexico City via Barcelona by Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transport.
In a statement, Emirates said that the flights are “on track” to begin operating next month, starting on December 9, sister title Arabian Business reported.
“We are pleased to confirm that Emirates has now obtained the permit for our forthcoming Dubai-Mexico City flight via Barcelona,” said Salem Obaidalla, Emirates senior vice president, commercial operations, Americas.
“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.”
The announcement follows month of legal wrangling in Mexican courts stemming from a challenge from Aeromexico, which also operates direct flights between Barcelona and Mexico City.
Aeromexico, along with Mexico’s pilots union, have long resisted the Emirates route, saying that they believe Mexican jobs will be lost as a result of the flight. Additionally, Aeromexico general manager Andres Conesa accused Emirates of being a “state-backed” airline that poses a challenge to his airline.
Obaidalla, however, said, “Emirates is commercially managed, financially transparent and receives no government subsidies and we are very confident our new route between Dubai and Mexico City will help boost both tourism and commerce.
“We look forward to contributing further to the Mexican economy, stimulating job creation and generating significant social benefits for Mexico City and the country as a whole.”
Mexico’s Civil Aviation Authority and tourism officials have both expressed their support of Emirates flights to Mexico.
“Mexico supports the launch of the long-awaited flight…which responds to Mexico’s government tourism policy towards opening new markets and strengthening connectivity between the Middle East and Mexico,” tourism minister Miguel Torruco Marqués said in July. “We are eager to receive tourists from this part of the world.”
The Emirates flight from Dubai – EK255 – will depart Dubai at 03:30 local time and arrive in Barcelona at 08:00 local time, before departing for Mexico at 09:55 and arriving in Mexico City at 16:15 the same day.
The return flight, EK256, will depart Mexico City at 19:40 local time, arriving in Barcelona the following day at 13:25 local time. The flight will then depart Barcelona at 15:10 and arrive back in Dubai at 00:45 the following day.