Emirates to launch flights to Mexico City via Barcelona

Emirates President Tim Clark says the Mexico City-Barcelona route had been neglected by other airlines despite strong demand. (Reuters)
Updated 17 July 2019

Emirates to launch flights to Mexico City via Barcelona

  • Emirates launched flights to Chile via Brazil last year

DUBAI: Emirates is to start flights to Mexico with a stopover in Spain, a so-called fifth freedom flight that could anger critics and rival airlines in the US and Europe.
The Dubai state-owned carrier said on Tuesday it would start daily flights to Mexico City International Airport via Barcelona on Dec. 9, the airline’s first service to Mexico.
“Due to the high altitude of Mexico City airport, it is not possible to operate a non-stop flight from Dubai, and Barcelona was a natural choice for a stopover, Emirates President Tim Clark said in a statement.
He said the Mexico City-Barcelona route had long been neglected by other airlines and remained underserved despite the strong customer demand.
Aeromexico operates direct flights between the two cities.
Emirates’ use of fifth freedom rights that allow an airline to fly between foreign countries as a part of services to and from its home country has drawn criticism in the past.
Mexico’s tourism minister Miguel Torruco Marques said the country supported the Emirates service.

FASTFACT

Emirates said it would start daily flights to Mexico City International Airport via Barcelona on Dec. 9.

US and European competitors have accused Emirates and other Gulf carriers of having an unfair advantage through state subsidies. The Gulf carriers deny the accusations.
The UAE, where Emirates is based, and Qatar last year resolved disputes with the US government related to allegations their airlines were subsidised. The US government has since scrutinized state-owned Qatar Airways’ minority ownership of Air Italy over allegations the investment breaches agreements between
Qatar and the US. Qatar Airways says the stake is compliant.
Emirates’ launch of the Mexico City service follows a 2016 attempt to start direct services to Panama in what would have been the world’s longest non-stop flight.
The airline shelved the plans after it failed to secure code-share agreements that it said were needed to make the service viable.
Emirates launched flights to Chile via Brazil last year.


Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

Updated 18 August 2019

Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

  • The trade dispute between US and China has roiled global markets and unnerved investors
  • African nations need to boost trade with each other to cushion the impact of external shocks

DAR ES SALAAM: The US-China trade war and uncertainty over Brexit pose risks to Africa’s economic prospects that are “increasing by the day,” the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) told Reuters.
The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled global markets and unnerved investors as it stretches into its second year with no end in sight.
Britain, meanwhile, appears to be on course to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 without a transition deal, which economists fear could severely disrupt trade flows.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said the bank could review its economic growth projection for Africa — of 4 percent in 2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020 — if global external shocks accelerate.
“We normally revise this depending on global external shocks that could slowdown global growth and these issues are increasing by the day,” Adesina told Reuters late on Saturday on the sidelines of the Southern African Development Community meeting in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“You have Brexit, you also have the recent challenges between Pakistan and India that have flared off there, plus you have the trade war between the United States and China. All these things can combine to slow global growth, with implications for African countries.”
The bank chief said African nations need to boost trade with each other and add value to agricultural produce to cushion the impact of external shocks.
“I think the trade war has significantly impacted economic growth prospects in China and therefore import demand from China has fallen significantly and so demand for products and raw materials from Africa will only fall even further,” he said.
“It will also have another effect with regard to China’s own outward-bound investments on the continent,” he added, saying these could also affect official development assistance.
Adesina said a continental free-trade zone launched last month, the African Continental Free Trade Area, could help speed up economic growth and development, but African nations needed to remove non-tariff barriers to boost trade.
“The countries that have always been facing lower volatilities have always been the ones that do a lot more in terms of regional trade and do not rely on exports of raw materials,” Adesina said.
“The challenges cannot be solved unless all the barriers come down. Free mobility of labor, free mobility of capital and free mobility of people.”