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
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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.


Huawei in public test as it unveils sanction-hit phone

Updated 28 min 5 sec ago

Huawei in public test as it unveils sanction-hit phone

  • Hit by US sanctions, Huawei's Mate 30 will not be allowed to use Google’s Play Store
  • Household-name services like WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Maps will be unavailable.
BERLIN: Chinese tech giant Huawei launches its latest high-end smartphone in Munich on Thursday, the first that could be void of popular Google apps because of US sanctions.
Observers are asking whether a phone without the Silicon Valley software that users have come to depend on can succeed, or whether Huawei will have found a way for buyers to install popular apps despite the constraints.
The company has maintained a veil of secrecy over its plans, set to be dropped at a 1200 GMT press conference revealing the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro models.
Huawei, targeted directly by the United States as part of a broader trade conflict with Beijing, was added to a “blacklist” in Washington in May.
Since then, it has been illegal for American firms to do business with the Chinese firm, suspected of espionage by President Donald Trump and his administration.
As a result, the new Mate will run on a freely available version of Android, the world’s most-used phone operating system that is owned by the search engine heavyweight.
While Mate 30 owners will experience little difference in the use of the system, the lack of Google’s Play Store — which provides access to hundreds of thousands of third-party apps and games as well as films, books and music — could hobble them.
Household-name services like WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Maps will be unavailable.
The tech press reports that this yawning gap in functionality has left some sellers reluctant to stock the new phones, fearing a wave of rapid-fire returns from dissatisfied customers.
Huawei president Richard Yu said at Berlin’s IFA electronics fair this month that his engineers found a “very simple” way to install the hottest apps without going via the Play Store.
Huawei could offer its own app store in a preliminary version, setting itself up as a competitor to the dominant Apple and Google offerings, observers speculate.
Over the longer term, the company could build out a similar “ecosystem” of devices, apps and services as the Silicon Valley companies that would bind users more closely to it.
The world’s second-largest smartphone maker after Samsung, Huawei earlier this month presented its proprietary operating system HarmonyOS, a potential replacement for Android.
The Mate 30 will not yet have HarmonyOS installed.
But it could make for a new round in the decades-old “OS wars” between Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s Mac OS, then Android versus Apple’s iOS.
Meanwhile, Eric Xu, current holder of Huawei’s rotating chief executive chair, has urged Europe to foster an alternative to Google and Apple.
That could provide an opening for Huawei to build up Europe’s market of 500 million well-off consumers as a stronghold against American rivals.
“If Europe had its own ecosystem for smart devices, Huawei would use it... that would resolve the problem of European digital dependency” on the United States, Xu told German business daily Handelsblatt.
He added that his company would be prepared to invest in developing such joint European-Chinese projects.