Emirates is effectively expanding its footprint in Mexico by adding eight destinations in the country through a codeshare deal with United Airlines. The new destinations are in addition to Emirates’ controversial route between Barcelona and Mexico City, which it operates on its own aircraft.
The ‘significant’ expansion of the codeshare deal marks the first time that Emirates has added its flight number on international flights operated by United, following a landmark agreement reached between the once bitter rivals last year.
The eight new destinations are Cancun, Cozumel, Monterrey, Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, San Jose Del Cabo, Leon/Guanajuato, and Queretaro, which will be operated by United flights from either Chicago or Houston.
The expanded codeshare agreement will take effect from September 14.
Mexico has proved a tricky market for Emirates, and the airline has faced fierce opposition from local airlines, in particular, Aeromexico, which campaigned for years to keep Emirates out of the country.
One of the reasons that Emirates has proved to be such a controversial airline in Mexico is that it decided to launch flights to Mexico City not from its home hub in Dubai but from Barcelona.
Aeromexico argued that Emirates was attempting to dominate the Spanish market to Mexico, although Emirates countered that while it would love to operate a non-stop flight to Mexico City, the flight duration combined with Mexico City’s high altitude made it impossible.
After years of lobbying, Emirates finally won approval to start its so-called ‘fifth freedom’ flight between Barcelona and Mexico City in early 2019, although Aeromexico won a temporary injunction that delayed Emirates’ inaugural flight.
The expanded codeshare agreement with United now includes 134 destinations and 100 more destinations are served on an interline basis. Earlier this year, India reportedly denied United’s application to put its flight numbers on Emirates flights to India, although an interline agreement is still in place.
Emirates and United ended a bitter feud last year as they announced a significant partnership, including the codeshare deal.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.