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Last year, Delta and Aeromexico applied for a trans-border joint venture, and in order for that joint venture to be approved, they needed to agree to a number of antitrust concessions from US regulators. One of those concessions was giving up 24 slot pairs at Mexico City International Airport (MEX), and applications for these newly-released slot pairs could be submitted by: Alaska, Allegiant, Frontier, Hawaiian, jetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country, Virgin America, Volaris, and VivaAerobus. Slots were also released in two blocks: Phase 1 (effective May 2017) and Phase 2 (effective May 2018).

With all that backstory out of the way, let’s get onto the news! This past week, the announcements on which airlines were granted rights to these slots were announced. We’ll be looking at all the US airlines that applied and were granted slot pairs.

Alaska – 4 for 4

Alaska applied for the following routes:

  • 2x daily Los Angeles – Mexico City
  • 1x daily San Francisco – Mexico City
  • 1x daily San Diego – Mexico City

Alaska-MEX-Map

In the end, Alaska received all four of their requested slots in Phase 1, which means that Alaska service to Mexico City will resume sometime in the summer of 2017.

jetBlue – 6 for 6

jetBlue applied for the following routes:

  • 2x daily Ft. Lauderdale – Mexico City
  • 2x daily Orlando – Mexico City
  • 2x daily Los Angeles – Mexico City

jetblue-MEX-map

Originally, jetBlue had applied for service to their Long Beach, CA (LGB) hub, but after Long Beach’s city council rejected jetBlue’s request for FIS at LGB, they amended their application to LAX. jetBlue will receive all six of their requested slot pairs, with Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando coming in 2017, and Los Angeles coming in Phase 2 (2018).

Southwest – 4 for 4

Southwest applied for the following routes:

  • 2x daily Houston-Hobby – Mexico City
  • 1x daily Ft. Lauderdale – Mexico City
  • 1x daily Los Angeles – Mexico City

Southwest-MEX-Map

Like Alaska and jetBlue above, Southwest received all four of their requested slot pairs. Additional Houston-Hobby slots will come in Phase 1, while Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles will be added to the Southwest route map in 2018.

Conclusion

It’s rare to see a slot proceeding where all airlines get what they want. It’ll be interesting to see how these new routes do against existing competition and against new competition (by 2018, we’ll potentially see eight (!!!) airlines on LAX-MEX).

Are you excited by new routes and competition at MEX?

Note: all maps courtesy of gcmap.com

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