Travel to Mexico is booming, but recent reporting by Reuters suggests a potential snag in air travel between the U.S. and its southern neighbor. The Federal Aviation Administration is reportedly on the verge of downgrading Mexico’s aviation safety rating. The move, which is expected to be announced as soon as this week, is being attributed to the lack of legal authority, training and compensation for the country’s safety regulators.
While the FAA’s downgrade won’t stop Mexican carriers from flying between the two countries, it may have indirect consequences for travelers. At a time when demand — and ticket prices — are rising, the change in status prohibits Mexican airlines from adding U.S. flights. Mexico has been the number one international destination from the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the country continued to welcome tourists even as many other countries, including the U.S., closed its borders to non-essential travel. Last month alone, 2.3 million passengers traveled from the U.S. to Mexico, according to CNBC. The country with the second highest number was the Dominican Republic, with just a third Mexico’s incoming of U.S. tourists.