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May 29, 2024
FAA Returns Mexico’s Category 1 Status

Photo: Daniel Martínez Garbuno.

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has upgraded Mexico‘s aviation safety rating back to Category 1 after spending nearly 28 months in Category 2.

Great news for the Mexican aviation industry

With Mexico’s return to the highest safety level, local airlines can now introduce new services and routes to the United States, and US carriers can resume marketing and selling tickets using their names and designator codes for Mexican-operated flights.

Mexico’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) rating was downgraded to Category 2 by the FAA in May 2021 due to non-compliance with the safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Mexican airlines have lost millions in potential revenue, as well as market share, versus US-based carriers, which have not faced any restrictions in the last two and a half years.

What is the industry saying?

Peter Cerdá, the regional vice president for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said in a statement,

“The connectivity between Mexico and the United States is one of the most important in the world and significantly contributes to the social and economic development of the country. With the return to Category 1, Mexican airlines will leave behind the established limitations that have significantly impacted post-pandemic recovery and will be able to expand their services in the Mexico-United States market.”

Meanwhile, Aeromexico said the most important task is to continue connecting Mexico with the world. The return to Category 1 status brings the airline the possibility to strengthen its connectivity with one of the most important markets for the country, using the most efficient planes in its fleet and improving the passenger experience. Due to the degradation to Category 2 status, Mexican airlines have been unable to employ aircraft received after May 2021 in routes to the United States, meaning older planes have had to be used.

The FAA said in a statement,

“The FAA provided expertise and resources via technical assistance agreements to Mexico’s Agencia Federal de Aviacion Civil (AFAC) to resolve the safety issues that led to the downgrade. The agency sent a team of aviation safety experts multiple times over the last two years to assist with the work.”

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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.

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