Last updated: 11:30 AM ET, Tue August 16 2016

Southwest Airlines Seeking Mexico City Slots

Airlines & Airports | Patrick Clarke | August 16, 2016

Southwest Airlines Seeking Mexico City Slots

Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has its sights set on Mexico City.

According to Air Transport World, the low-cost carrier has requested that it be considered ahead of American Airlines and Volaris for slot divestitures at Mexico City International Airport resulting from Delta Air Lines' $1.5 billion joint venture with Aeromexico.

Earlier this year, Mexico's federal competition commission approved the joint venture under the condition that eight pairs of slots at the airport were given up, according to Reuters.

Unsurprisingly, though, Southwest's proposal has been met with resistance from the competition.

In a letter emailed to the U.S. Department of Transportation Monday, American Airlines' vice president of regulatory affairs Howard Kass said "Southwest’s opposition to American’s Surreply and Volaris’s Answer1 makes clear that its primary purpose in this proceeding is to make the pool of carriers eligible for any divested MEX slots as small as possible, thereby maximizing its chance of receiving a large number of slots."

READ MORE: Southwest CEO Hints At Big Plans in Mexico

Considering Mexico City is the world's second-largest cross-border market, it's no wonder the slots are coveted. 

"The imposition of constraints on slot transfers at this early stage of the process is likely to prevent public benefits from being maximized," added Kass. "If Southwest is so confident that its use of any divested slots will produce the greatest public benefits, then Southwest should be willing to compete against all carriers."

Kass recommended the DOT "ensure that all carriers, including American, Southwest, and Volaris, have the opportunity seek the divested slots."

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