Delta Air Lines has assembled a wide coalition of businesses, trade groups, lawmakers and governors in opposition to a US government decision that stands to force Delta and Aeromexico to end their joint business.

In recent days, the airlines submitted some 60 letters, from various supporters, to the US Department of Transportation.

The letters urge the agency to reconsider a tentative January decision not to renew an antitrust exemption permitting the Delta-Aeromexico joint business. Delta and its supporters say the decision will force the airlines to eliminate US-Mexico flights at the expense of jobs and economic activity.


Source: Helissa Grundemann/

The DOT has tentatively decided to shut down Delta and Aeromexico’s joint venture due to spat with Mexico’s government

The coalition of supporters includes heavy hitters, among them Airbus and automakers Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Stellantis – which say they depend on US-Mexico flights.

The DOT rejected the antitrust renewal request on grounds that Mexico has repeatedly violated the US-Mexico air transport agreement by reducing capacity at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International airport. Mexico has been forcing airlines to relocate to the new Felipe Angeles International airport, which is farther from Mexico City.

Other US airlines have praised the DOT’s proposed decision, but Delta and Aeromexico want the agency to reconsider. Warning of flight cuts, they say the US government should not punish airlines, communities and consumers, but should rather take complaints directly to Mexico’s government, through arbitration if needed.

”I respectfully ask that you reconsider this proposal,” Airbus Americas chief executive Jeffrey Knittel says in a February letter to the DOT. Delta submitted the letter and dozens more to the agency in recent days.

“This proposal, which could cancel or significantly reduce capacity on dozens of air routes between the US and Mexico, will have harmful consequences for the economy, air travelers and the communities that rely on these flights.”

Knittel adds that Airbus is expanding production of A320s and A220s in Mobile, Alabama, where it produces jets for Delta.

The DOT did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

An end to the Delta-Aeromexico partnership “would disrupt leisure and business travel between the US and Mexico… It threatens 91,000 jobs and $2.8 billion in trade activity,” say US Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, both from Minnesota, in a 13 March letter to US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg.

More than 20 lawmakers in the US House of Representatives signed similar letters of support for the airlines, as did governors of Georgia, Minnesota and Utah, where Delta has hubs.

“These routes have facilitated thousands of jobs and convenient air travel for citizens and businesses from both countries,” says a letter from General Motors. “Eliminating these routes will reduce supply and raise costs.”

Latin American airline trade group ALTA, and chambers of commerce representing businesses in Atlanta, Austin, Boise, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City and Salt Lake City also submitted letters.