The FAA has apparently bent its own rules and allowed Aeromexico to launch a new route to the U.S. Last year, the agency downgraded Mexico’s safety rating to Category 2, meaning it doesn’t believe its aviation regulators can adequately monitor and enforce safety standards. Only a handful of countries have earned that status, and one of the consequences is normally that airlines based in those countries can’t start any new service to U.S. airports. Aeromexico announced Tuesday that it will be flying to Houston from Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA), a recently opened facility near Mexico City.
In its announcement, Aeromexico touched on the current regulatory issues saying “after a regulatory assessment and an evaluation of current conditions, US and Mexican authorities approved this route considering that AIFA also serves the metropolitan area of the Valley of Mexico.” It also said it’s working with Mexican authorities to recover that Category 1 status, saying it employs “the highest safety standards in the industry.” The airline will use Embraer E190s for the service, which starts May 1.
Scary enough flying Aeromexico before it was downgraded!
So the Mexican regulator isn’t good enough for the FAA, but the Mexican airline is? I’ve been to the AeroMexico maintenance hangar in Mexico City and it is an impressive facility. Similar to what you’d find at a domestic airline’s hub hangar in this country.