With the addition of eight new Mexican destinations thanks to a codeshare agreement with United Airlines, Emirates is actually increasing its geographic presence in the nation. The new locations are in addition to the contentious route that Emirates runs on its own aircraft between Barcelona and Mexico City.
Following a historic agreement reached last year, the significant expansion of the codeshare agreement marks the first time that Emirates has added its flight number on international flights operated by United.
Eight new locations will be served by United flights from either Chicago or Houston: Cancun, Cozumel, Monterrey, Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, San Jose Del Cabo, Leon/Guanajuato, and Queretaro.
On September 14, the expanded codeshare agreement will go into effect.
Mexico has proven to be a challenging market for Emirates. The airline has come up against fierce opposition from regional carriers, particularly Aeromexico, which has struggled to keep Emirates out of the country for years.
Emirates’ choice to start service to Mexico City from Barcelona rather than its home hub of Dubai is one of the factors that have made it such a contentious airline in Mexico.
Emirates responded that while it would love to run a non-stop flight to Mexico City, the flight time and Mexico City’s high altitude made it impossible. Aeromexico argued that Emirates was attempting to dominate the Spanish market to Mexico.
Emirates finally received approval to launch its ‘fifth freedom’ flight between Barcelona and Mexico City in early 2019 after years of lobbying, but Aeromexico was successful in obtaining a temporary injunction that postponed Emirates’ first flight.
A total of 134 destinations are now covered by the expanded codeshare agreement with United, and another 100 are interlinked.