US cuts Mexico's air safety rating, bars new routes

The Federal Aviation Administration said its air safety downgrade means US carriers cannot market and sell tickets with Mexican partner airlines, but existing service on Mexican carriers to the United States is not affected
The Federal Aviation Administration said its air safety downgrade means US carriers cannot market and sell tickets with Mexican partner airlines, but existing service on Mexican carriers to the United States is not affected SCOTT OLSON GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File
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New York (AFP)

US regulators have downgraded Mexico's air safety rating, a move that bars Mexican carriers from offering new service or routes in the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Tuesday.

The action also means US carriers cannot market and sell tickets with Mexican partner airlines, but does not affect existing service on Mexican carriers to the United States, the agency said.

"The FAA will increase its scrutiny of Mexican airline flights to the United States," the agency said, adding that it found "several areas" where Mexico fell short of international air safety standards.

The US regulator now designates Mexico's safety rating as "Category 2" instead of "Category 1."

The lower rating means Mexico's laws or regulations do not ensure "minimum national international safety standards," or the "civil aviation authority is lacking in one or more areas such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping, inspection procedures or resolution of safety concerns," the FAA said.