Aeromexico Trims U.S. Network Plans Following Delta JV Ruling

aeromexico jets
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Aeromexico is set to reduce its planned summer schedule to the U.S. after the U.S. Transportation Department’s (DOT) tentative refusal to renew antitrust immunity for the carrier’s transborder joint venture (JV) with Delta Air Lines.

The latest schedules filed with OAG Schedules Analyser for the summer 2024 season indicate that Aeromexico has scrapped the proposed resumption of flights from Monterrey (MTY) to three U.S. destinations—namely, Los Angeles (LAX), New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Salt Lake City (SLC).

The SkyTeam alliance member previously intended to operate each sector daily, with flights to SLC commencing on March 31, followed by LAX and JFK on May 16. The move would have increased the airline’s U.S. network from MTY to five cities alongside Atlanta and Detroit.

Additionally, the data shows that daily operations between Guadalajara and Detroit will launch as planned on March 14, but will be suspended from April 1. Reservations for flights on the route are also unavailable beyond the latter date.

Aeromexico announced plans to expand its U.S. presence in October following the restoration of Mexico’s Category 1 safety rating by the U.S. FAA the previous month. This came after a period of more than two years when Mexican airlines were prevented from adding new routes or increasing frequencies to the U.S. because of the Category 2 status.

The latest decision to remove the routes comes little over a week after the DOT ruled that Aeromexico must unwind its JV with Delta, blaming Mexico for being “fundamentally out of compliance” with the bilateral air services agreement between the countries.

DOT said in an order issued Jan. 26 that it “tentatively dismisses” the carriers’ application for the renewal of the agreement, in place since 2017, citing “recent actions” by the Mexican government related to Mexico City Benito Juárez International Airport that the U.S. views as anticompetitive. Under the order, the two airlines will have to unravel their JV by late October.

Aeromexico and Delta have since asked for more time to defend their JV and are seeking a four-week extension from Feb. 9 to March 8 to respond to DOT’s tentative decision. The airlines argued that the extension would be “fair and warranted under the circumstances and would not prejudice any party.”

Analysis of OAG data for the peak northern 2024 summer season shows that the decision to scrap the three routes from Monterrey, plus the flights between Guadalajara and Detroit, will reduce Aeromexico’s capacity to and from the U.S. by about 6%.

Following the move, Monterrey-JFK and Monterrey-SLC will be unserved nonstop, while Viva Aerobus will be the sole operator of Monterey-LAX flights. Guadalajara-Detroit will also be left unserved.

Overall, Aeromexico intends to connect 30 Mexico-U.S. city pairs this summer, providing about 120,000 two-way weekly seats by mid-July. This compares with 92,400 across 22 routes at the same time in summer 2023 when Mexico still had Category 2 status.

Delta plans to offer about 85,000 two-way seats by peak summer 2024, giving it an 8.4% share of the market as the fifth-largest provider of Mexico-U.S. capacity. Aeromexico will be the fourth largest on 11.9% behind American Airlines on 20.8%, United Airlines on 15.4% and Volaris on 12.6%.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.