DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky
May 29, 2024
A Boeing 737-7 and 737-8-200 (Boeing Photo)

Photo: Boeing.

Care to share?

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) paused the review of Allegiant Air and Viva Aerobus’ Joint Venture review for antitrust immunity until further notice after the Mexican government failed to grant a fully liberalized air transport agreement between both countries.

The review is paused

This week, Carol A. Pesonk, Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs at the DOT, sent a letter to Rogelio Jiménez Pons, Mexico’s Transportation Undersecretary. In this letter, she let him know the DOT is suspending the procedural schedule for the review of the Allegiant Air and Viva Aerobus application for antitrust immunity from the DOT. This application was first filed on December 1, 2021.

The Department determined that it must pause the review because of outstanding questions relating to the continued implementation of the US-Mexico air transportation agreement.

According to the DOT, recent actions from the Mexican government, which have impacted US carriers’ operations at Mexico City International Airport, have called into question the implementation of a fully liberalized air transport agreement between both countries. The DOT added,

“Given these circumstances, we are not able to further consider the Viva/Allegiant case pending additional information demonstrating compliance with, and full implementation of, the terms of the US-Mexico air transportation agreement through our continued consultations with SICT.”

In a statement, Allegiant Air hopes the United States and Mexico can quickly resolve their differences over the bilateral agreement, “so travelers from both countries can benefit from the Allegiant/Viva joint venture.”

The DOT added it is working with the Government of Mexico to resolve significant concerns. “We will resume our review of the application once we can confirm compliance with, and full implementation, of the terms of the US-Mexico air transportation agreement.”

What is happening?

The Mexican government has not released a statement regarding the DOT’s decision to pause the review of the Allegiant and Viva Aerobus Joint Venture Agreement.

Last month, Viva Aerobus announced an order for 90 Airbus A321neo aircraft, which was made with the expectation of Mexico regaining Category 1 shortly and the approval of its partnership with Allegiant. The Mexican airline has not released a statement on the subject.

In recent months, the Mexican government has forced some changes at Mexico City International Airport. Some of these changes include the 15% reduction in hourly operations, and the forceful relocation of all-cargo flights to the new Felipe Ángeles International Airport (NLU). Any of these changes could have triggered the displeasure of US carriers and the DOT.

author avatar
Daniel Martínez Garbuno
Daniel Martínez Garbuno is a Mexican journalist. He has specialized in the air industry working mainly for A21, a Mexican media outlet focused entirely on the aviation world. He has also published on other sites like Simple Flying, Roads & Kingdoms, Proceso, El Economista, Buzos de la Noticia, Contenido, and Notimex.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.