Aeromexico says it will not begin its planned service to Barcelona, blaming approvals granted to Emirates to launch Mexico service via Barcelona for its decision to pull the route.

The Mexican airline had scheduled Barcelona service to launch from Mexico City on 1 November, but says it has "indefinitely suspended" the route.

"This decision is taken in light of the authorisation of fifth freedoms granted to an airline of the United Arab Emirates, allowing them to offer flights between Mexico and Spain as if it were a Mexican airline," says Aeromexico.

Mexican media reports say Emirates was granted authority to begin flights between Dubai and Mexico City, via a stop in Barcelona. It is not immediately clear when the Emirates flights will begin and the Dubai-based airline did not immediately respond to questions.

Aeromexico, echoing its US partner and shareholder Delta Air Lines, refers to Emirates as an airline that "enjoys subsidies and benefits from its government".

"Aeromexico regrets this action and will rethink its expansion plans to other markets where healthy competition among airlines is favoured," says the SkyTeam airline.

The carrier's decision to scrap Barcelona service comes after the US and UAE governments agreed to resolve a dispute brought against Emirates and Etihad Airways by three US airlines including Delta that alleged the Gulf carriers and Qatar Airways benefitted from more than $42 billion in subsidies.

The US and UAE governments have said that the open-skies pact between the two countries remain in place, with all rights intact. The US State Department said on 18 May that the UAE government has informed the US government that "its air carriers have no current plans to make any changes to the fifth freedom services that they operate in accordance" with the air transport agreement between the two countries.

Source: Cirium Dashboard