New U.S.-Mexico aviation agreement to start Aug. 21

The United States and Mexico exchanged diplomatic notes late last week to bring into force the new Air Transport Agreement, which the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) anticipates will “significantly increase future trade and travel” between the two countries.

The deal, set to go into effect on Aug. 21, will open up new routes between the U.S. and Mexico, permitting an unlimited number of passenger and cargo flights. Delta Air Lines also stands to benefit, as it closes in on acquiring up to 49 percent of Aeroméxico.

Caitlin Harvey, from the U.S. DOT explained that the agreement opens up a number of new possibilities for all-cargo carriers.  “This agreement provides new rights that will allow our cargo carriers to expand their worldwide networks to better integrate services with Mexico.  Our carriers will now have traffic rights to start an operation outside of the United States, fly to the United States, fly to Mexico, and then continue to another country (5th and 6th Freedom rights).  Cargo carriers will also be able to operate routes between Mexico and a third country without a connection to the United States (7th freedom rights).  These types of routes are what allow our all-cargo carriers to provide the fastest services and at the best rates for businesses and shippers.  In addition to opening up new opportunities for our cargo carriers, these benefits will foster the growth of business and trade between Mexico and the United States.  Expanding the U.S.–Mexico cargo market will also benefit our airports and businesses while creating new jobs on both sides of the border.”

The new agreement is welcome news to air-cargo carriers, with the DOT stating that, “cargo carriers will now have expanded opportunities to provide services that were not available under the more restrictive agreement.”

The new agreement also allows for all-cargo flights from any destination in either the U.S. or Mexico, via any intermediate destination, to any destination in the other country and beyond. This includes flights from any destination in one country to any destination in the other country, as well as in a third country.

White & Case, an international law firm covering the agreement, notes that, the new arrangement also frees up airlines in both the U.S. and Mexico to enter into cooperative agreements with airlines of either country, or from third countries, to provide services to intermediate locations. This includes locations beyond Mexico or the U.S.

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