Mexico wants new carriers and routes

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Mexico is determined enable more competition among airlines and remove remaining protectionists barriers to improve airline service to the country's tourism destinations, according to president Felipe Calderon.

"Mexico needs to revise its traditional of policy reciprocity based bilateral [air traffic] treaties," said Calderon, speaking on 16 May at the T20 ministers meeting taking place during the regional World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in Cancun.

He lamented that the "old-style, protectionist strategy" prevents better access between international markets and Mexico's tourism destinations.

"We want to [fully] liberalise the Mexican aviation market", he said, admitting, however, the existence of some "political resistance".

He also indicated his support for schemes that would incentivise the launch of previously unexisting routes to connect destinations with new tourism markets.

Nevertheless, he considers the Mexican airline industry mature to cope with more competition, arguing "Mexico has now more airline seats in the market than before Mexicana's grounding [in August 2010]". Calderon said he interprets such capacity growth as a sign of health of the Mexican carriers, without making further references to ongoing attempts to resurrect Mexicana de Aviacion.

Mexico has an Open Skies agreement with the USA, but its relations with most Latin American and European countries are still governed by traditional bilateral agreements, which restrict the seat capacity, frequencies, number of designated carriers and potential destinations in the country.

After the demise of Mexicana, SkyTeam member Aeromexico is the only Mexican airline operating significant capacity in markets regulated by bilateral agreements.