President wants to open Mexico to foreign airlines

MEXICO CITY (HPD) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Tuesday that he wants to allow foreign airlines to operate flights between Mexican cities, in order to stimulate competition and lower prices.

Mexican law currently prohibits foreign airlines from operating purely domestic flights. For example, a US airline can currently fly from New York to Cancun, but not from Cancun to Mexico City. The president wants to allow the so-called “cabotage” to reduce the domestic prices of airline tickets.

“Let aviation open up,” declared López Obrador. “We are going to open the competition. Besides, that is democracy,” he added.

“That foreign lines can arrive from Europe, from the United States and that they can also carry out trips within the country,” he said.

The proposal appears to run counter to López Obrador’s push to make Mexico self-sufficient, but the president said he wants to cut domestic airfares and bring service to smaller cities that lack flights.

The president also wants more airlines to fly to the new airport he ordered to be built on a former air base north of Mexico City, which is currently underused.

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