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.


Saudi finance minister reassures public on taxes

Updated 10 December 2019

Saudi finance minister reassures public on taxes

  • Mohammed Al-Jadaan: There will be no more fees and taxes until after the financial, economic and social impacts have been considered carefully
  • The government expects to generate about SR203 billion in taxes this year – more than 20.5 percent higher than the previous year

RIYADH: Saudi finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan pledged that there would be no more taxes or fees introduced in the Kingdom until the social and economic impact of such a move had been fully reviewed.

He was speaking at the 2020 Budget Meeting Sessions, organized by the Ministry of Finance and held in Riyadh on Tuesday, where a number of ministers and senior officials gathered following the publication of the budget on Monday evening.

“There will be no more fees and taxes until after the financial, economic and social impacts have been considered carefully, especially in terms of economic competitiveness,” said Al-Jadaan.

The government expects to generate about SR203 billion in taxes this year – more than 20.5 percent higher than the previous year and more than 10 percent higher than the expected budget for this year. 

Most of that increase has come from taxes on goods and services which rose substantially as a result of the improvement in economic activity over the year.

The reassurances from the minister come as the Saudi budget deficit is estimated to widen to about SR187 billion, next year, or about 6.4 percent of GDP.