Mexican Airline Industry Celebrates as Air Cabotage No Longer Included in Proposed Law Reform

Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) – Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has announced that the proposal to reform the Civil Aviation Law will no longer include air cabotage, effectively putting the opening of national skies to foreign airlines on hold. The decision comes after almost four months of negotiations with the country’s major airlines, Aeromexico, Viva Aerobus, and Volaris. The government argued that opening the skies to foreign competition would lead to greater competition and cheaper tickets, but the airline industry vehemently rejected the plan, claiming it would lead to bankruptcy.

The press secretary of the Aviation Pilots Union Association (ASPA), José Alonso, welcomed the decision, stating that it would not benefit the industry economically or from a labor standpoint. Industry specialists also warned about the high risk of the measure, noting that international airlines have subsidies in their countries of origin that they can use to reduce rates, while the national counterpart does not have this option because there are no incentives from the state.

The discussion about the proposed reform reached the gates of the Legislative Branch, where opinions were divided between those who saw it as an opportunity to reduce ticket costs and those who feared it would lead to bankruptcy and unemployment. The decision by López Obrador settles this debate by reversing his original plan.

It remains to be seen whether this decision will have any impact on Mexico’s aviation industry in the long run. The government may revisit the issue in the future if it believes there is a need to do so. In the meantime, the airline industry can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that they will not have to compete with foreign airlines on regional commercial routes.

What is air cabotage?

Air cabotage is a term used in the aviation industry to describe the transport of passengers or cargo between two points within a country by a foreign airline. Essentially, it refers to the right of a foreign airline to operate domestic flights within another country. For example, a US airline operating a flight between two Mexican cities would be considered air cabotage.

Cabotage laws vary from country to country, and in some cases, they prohibit foreign airlines from operating domestic flights altogether. In Mexico, for example, cabotage was not allowed for foreign airlines until the recent proposed reform of the Civil Aviation Law.

Air cabotage is a controversial issue in the aviation industry, as it can have a significant impact on domestic airlines’ competitiveness and profitability. Proponents argue that it can lead to increased competition and lower fares, while opponents claim that it puts domestic airlines at a disadvantage and can lead to job losses.

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