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Following repeated controversies over Mexico’s airspace operations, which culminated in the Mexican government announcing on May 11 its intention to move 204 flights from the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) to the newly-built Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA), leading Mexican airline Aeroméxico has sought to challenge the nation’s purported “favoritism” toward the AIFA over the AICM through the country’s judicial courts.

While the Navigation Services in the Mexican Air Space (Seneam) said in 2013 that 61 operations per hour was the upper limit of the AICM’s safe operational capacity, a change in opinion on April 29 lowered this operational cap by 20 percent to 49 per hour.

As such, Mexican airlines were previously ordered to reduce their operations at the AICM from 61 to 49 flights per hour ahead of the AIFA’s opening, with the implication that the airlines would only be given the ability to ramp up operations again if the airline added new flight paths out of the AIFA. 

As of Wednesday, June 8, Mexican airlines only fly 12 operations per day out of the AIFA, the same amount of flights airlines lost per hour when it was forced to reduce operations out of the AICM.

Now, Aeroméxico has sought intervention from a federal judge into the issue, claiming that any flights out of the AIFA should be looked at as additions to, not replacements for, the routes established from the AICM, just as the Mexican government ramps up pressure for more flights for the fledgling (and highly-contentious) terminal.

Likewise, Aeroméxico has challenged the Federal Civil Aviation Agency’s (AFAC) March 3 Declaration of Capacity, which was implemented 18 days before the AIFA’s inauguration.

While the judicial opinion is still pending over the matter, as it will be expected to remain for several months, it could result in the Seneam reassessing its capacity claims, while the AFAC could come under fire for the constitutional violations Aeroméxico alleges it has committed.

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