After the Mexican Government allowed Emirates only three weekly slots to Mexico City, Emirates gave up plans to fly the Dubai-Barcelona-Mexico City route in September. However, Aeromexico has decided not to start the Mexico City-Barcelona route, opening new slots for Emirates.
According to The National, the Mexican Government has finally granted fifth freedom traffic rights for daily flights from Mexico City to Dubai via Barcelona. That would mean that Emirates could start flying the route while selling tickets on both segments (Emirates can sell connections from Mexico City to both Barcelona and Dubai).
Emirates’ fleet includes 109 Airbus A380s and 150 Boeing 777 aircraft. The airline has orders for 150 B777X and at least 50 additional A380s. Dubai-Barcelona-Mexico City will likely be flown by a B777-300ER.
Though an official timetable has yet to be confirmed, Emirates has multiple options on when to schedule its new service.
There are two flights daily between Dubai and Barcelona and none between Mexico City and Barcelona/Middle East. Emirates’ morning flight leaves Dubai at 07:25 and arrives in Barcelona at 12:50, while the second flight runs between 15:35 and 20:10. From Barcelona, the flights leave at 15:00 and 22:05 and arrive in Dubai 0:40 (+1 day) and 07:35 (+1 day), respectively. Both are operated by A380 aircraft, so changing these flights would not be efficient to Emirates. A new flight for the Mexico City connection makes more sense.
There are multiple factors which can play an important role in the timing of the Mexico City connection. This might be an attractive service for Asian travelers connecting to Mexico, so the flight should depart after the arrival of Asian flights. The biggest problem, however, is the slot allocation. Both Dubai International Airport and Benito Juárez Airport run on high frequency, and finding slots for a new flight is hard. My estimates are the optimal flight times, however, slots will definitely change these.
There are two options for a flight to Mexico City. One is an evening departure flight and a day-night flight back, while the other is a simple Transatlantic schedule: a daytime flight to Mexico and a day/night return service. The flight time is around 12.5 hours out and 12.25 hours back. The timezone difference is 7 hours. The night flight makes more sense because of slots, other DXB-BCN flights, and transfers in DXB. Passengers could stop over in both Dubai and Barcelona if they want.
So if we start with the Barcelona-Mexico City leg, the flight would depart between 23:30 and 00:30, so it can arrive between 05:00 and 06:00 (+1 day). After 5- or 6- hour stop in Mexico, the flight would depart back around 11:00 and arrive at 06:00 (+1 day). Optimizing the other leg for that flight, the flight would leave Dubai around 17:00 or 18:00 and arrive two days later between 17:00 and 18:00.
Featured image by Catarina Madureira/Aeronautics Online