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Weekly Roundups

The Week in Aerospace: Emirate Airlines Lands in Mexico City

By Pedro Alcalá | Fri, 12/13/2019 - 16:53

Renowned luxury brand Emirate Airlines landed its first airplane ever in Mexico City last Monday to inaugurate its Dubai-Mexico City route, which has a stop in Barcelona that will be additionally commercialized as a Mexico City-Barcelona route. Piloted by UAE’s Abdelrazaq Alfahim, Mexican Gabriel Noltenius Hahnel and Mexican Julio Franco Tamez, flight EK255 was completed with a Boeing 777-200LR transporting over 300 people. Among the passengers were VIPs such as UAE Ambassador in Mexico, Ahmed Hatem Barghash al Menhali; Mexico Ambassador in the UAE, Francisca Elizabeth Méndez Escobar and Emirate Airlines’ VP of Commercial Operations for the Americas, Salem Obaidalla. 

Obaidalla held a press conference on Tuesday with Mexico’s Minister of Tourism Miguel Torruco as a guest of honor, where he declared that he will be happy to work with any of the three airports (Toluca, Benito Juarez and the upcoming Santa Lucia) now planned to eventually serve the Mexico City area.

Ready for takeoff? Here’s the Week in Aerospace!

IATA Skeptical of Santa Lucia Plans

During statements made last Thursday, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General Alexandre de Juniac expressed skepticism regarding the Mexican government’s plan for simultaneous operations of three airports to serve the Mexico City major metropolitan area. 

While Juniac admitted that IATA is now in dialogue with the federal government to approve the development of the Metropolitan Airport System, he also made it clear that this does not refute the issues they have raised regarding said system’s feasibility.   

First All-Electric Commercial Aircraft Takes to the Skies

Through a collaboration between North America’s largest seaplane airline Harbour Air and pioneering aerospace electric engineering startup MagniX, the first ever all-electric commercial aircraft successfully completed its first test flight last Wednesday near Richmond, Canada. 

This “ePlane” was a six passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver modified to be powered by MagniX’s 750hp magni500 propulsion system originally unveiled last June at the Paris Air Show. 

Southwest Strikes Compensation Deal with Boeing

Low-cost aviation leader Southwest Airlines announced last Thursday that it has finalized a deal with Boeing to receive compensation for the financial damages caused by this year’s ongoing grounding of the 737 Max. The airline’s shares went up 1.6 percent in the afternoon after the announcement. 

While the full terms of the deal were not disclosed, Southwest did announce that it would be sharing US$125 million with its employees as a direct result. Boeing declined to comment on the deal, stating merely that it was “working closely” with “all” its customers “to support them through this difficult time.” 

Frontier Airlines Sued for Discrimination

Lawsuits filed last Tuesday accuse Frontier Airlines of forcing pregnant and nursing employees to take extended periods of unpaid leave and of refusing to accommodate breastfeeding. Industry analysts have framed the lawsuit as symptomatic of the larger prevailing issue of sexism within the aviation industry.

(photo courtesy of https://www.eleconomista.com.mx/ )

Pedro Alcalá Pedro Alcalá Senior Journalist & Industry Analyst