As its Oneworld partner Mexicana works to gain concessions from unions to possibly re-launch flights, American Airlines has informed US regulators it plans to begin service from its Chicago O'Hare hub to Mexico City in December.
Previously American had a codesharing arrangement on the route with Mexicana, which according to the Innovata database operated 14 weekly flights between the two destinations using a mix of Airbus A318/A320 aircraft. Former Mexicana rival Aeromexico also operates 14 weekly flights in the market using Boeing 737s.
American tells regulators it intends to operate a two-class 148-seat Boeing 737 on daily year-round flights from Chicago to Mexico City, and is formally requesting a conversion of authorised operations in the market from codeshare only to direct carrier service.
Coupled with Mexicana's suspension of service and its scramble to restructure, Mexico still remains as category 2 status under the FAA's international aviation assessment programme. The downgrade from category 1 results in US carriers being prohibited from codesharing with Mexican airlines, and bars Mexican carriers from introducing new service to the USA.