Mexico urges U.S. not to downgrade Mexico air safety rating

Mexico urges U.S. not to downgrade Mexico air safety rating
By Reuters
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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday U.S. authorities should not downgrade Mexico's air safety designation, arguing that his country is complying with all the relevant norms.

Reuters reported on Friday the U.S. government is preparing to downgrade Mexico's aviation safety rating, a move that would bar Mexican carriers from adding new U.S. flights and limit airlines' ability to carry out marketing agreements.

"We have been complying with all the requirements. We feel that this decision should not be made," Lopez Obrador said at a regular news conference when asked about the possibility of a U.S. downgrade of the safety classification.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) planned move is expected be announced in the coming days and follows a lengthy review of Mexico's aviation oversight by the agency.

Lopez Obrador said that a downgrade would "not affect (Mexican) airlines because they are mostly dedicated to transporting passengers domestically."

Downgrading Mexico from Category 1 to Category 2 would mean that current U.S. service by Mexican carriers would be unaffected, but they could not launch new flights and airline-to-airline marketing practices such as selling seats on each other's flights in code-share arrangements would be restricted.

(Reporting by Dave Graham, Editing by William Maclean)

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