Southwest reveals Mexico expansion through bilateral services agreement

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By admin August 18, 2014 21:02

Southwest reveals Mexico expansion through bilateral services agreement

Southwest Airlines is reported to be considering its options for route expansion into Mexico through the mechanism of the US-Mexico bilateral air services agreement, which states that each country may designate two carriers to service any particular route.

Southwest has filed a “no-objection” motion with the US Department of Transportation, to United Airlines’s application for an exemption to the agreement that would allow SkyWest, operating as United Express, to fly between Houston and Mexico City. United and its codeshare partner ExpressJet already have authority to fly the route, and United is asking the DoT to substitute SkyWest for ExpressJet.

If the SkyWest exemption is granted, United would continue to hold both slots, operating both mainline and regional partner flights between the two cities.

In its filing with the DoT on August 14th, Southwest said it does not object to United’s application “at this time,” because Southwest is not currently seeking to serve that route. However, Southwest also said that “we urge the Department to put [United and SkyWest] on notice that their authority and corresponding US carrier designations in this market are subject to being rescinded if Southwest were to actively seek competing authority to serve the Houston-MEX market.”

Southwest could seek the authority to expand operations in Mexico during 2015, before United’s two-year exemption expires. Southwest cited the long-standing DoT precedent to reallocate limited Mexico route authorities to new entrant carriers.

Southwest said its new international terminal at Houston Hobby Airport should be open by the fourth quarter of 2015, at which point the carrier will seek “to offer a broad range of competitive US carrier services from Houston to points in Mexico as well as destinations in the Caribbean and South America.”

admin
By admin August 18, 2014 21:02