Mexico said Thursday that it expected to open dozens of new air routes to the United States after regulators in Washington restored its top aviation safety rating.
The comments from the Mexican transport ministry came shortly after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that Mexico had regained the Category 1 status that it lost in May 2021.
“More than 50 new routes are expected to open in the short term from Mexico to the United States, which could represent more than a million passengers each year,” the ministry said in a statement.
Increased air cargo transportation would also give “renewed impetus to international trade and logistics in Mexico,” whose largest trading partner is the United States, it added.
The downgrade in 2021 had meant that new routes or services were barred between the two countries, though existing services could continue.
As a result, airlines have been unable to fly between the United States and a new international airport near Mexico City that opened last year — one of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s flagship projects.
The FAA said in May 2021 that it found “several areas” where the country fell short of international air safety standards.
The downgrade disappointed Mexico, whose economy relies heavily on tourism.
“With a return to Category 1 status, Mexico can add new service and routes to the US,” the FAA said Thursday.
US carriers could also resume marketing and selling tickets with Mexican partner airlines, it added.
The upgrade followed more than two years of close work between the civil aviation authorities in both countries, the FAA said.