Mexican pilots protest competition recommendations

The Pilot Association considers the recommendations threaten aircraft pilot jobs
ASPA claims the Cofece recommendations go against international practices. (LUCÍA GODÍNEZ. EL UNIVERSAL)
06/08/2017
11:00
Sara Cantera y Pedro Villa y Caña
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The Union Association of Aircraft Pilots in Mexico (ASPA, in Spanish) will file for an indirect amparo against the recommendations of the Federal Commission of Economic Competition (Cofece) on arrival and departure slots at the International Airport of Mexico City (AICM).

Mario Alberto González Aguilera, general secretary of the organization, explained the union will file the amparo lawsuit before the corresponding labor authority, while other unions, part of the Front for the Defense of Aviation, will do the same.

Moreover, airlines such as Aeromexico will also bring forth this lawsuit, as companies, before the corresponding competition or trading authorities. The ASPA amparo is expected to be filed next Monday.

On July 17, the Cofece published in the Federal Official Gazette a series of recommendations to increase competition at the AICM.

From the different proposals, there are three which the ASPA general secretary considers are a threat to pilot jobs and could even increase flight ticket prices.

One of these recommendations is punctuality, “since there is a different rule to the one used at an international level, which is the 80/20. Here they are proposing an 85/15-rule, which means 85% of flights need to be on schedule within 15 minutes,” he said.

The second recommendation is that schedules cannot be assigned or given to airlines with more than 35% of slots within a single time slot.

“Aeromexico has on its high averages close to 48% of slots, and in low averages, 42%. This would mean we would lose slots, and fewer slots mean fewer aircrafts in Mexico City, and the logical conclusion is that fewer aircrafts mean fewer jobs,” said González, during the General Meeting of the 59th anniversary of the ASPA in Mexico.

The third recommendation is slot auctions. Certain schedules could be acquired by wealthy airlines, such as Emirates or Southwest Airlines, which would use those time slots for high traffic routes at the cost of less frequent routes.

ASPA highlighted the Cofece resolution doesn't meet the best international practices and recommendations of the International Air Transportation Association (IATA).

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