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Mexico Receives Category 1 Safety Rating From FAA Once Again

Nick Ellis's image
Nick Ellis
Nick Ellis's image

Nick Ellis

Editor & Content Contributor

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Countries Visited: 35U.S. States Visited: 25

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to le...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

35 Published Articles 3228 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regularly conducts inspections of other countries’ civil aviation authorities to ensure they comply with international aviation safety standards.

Two years ago, the FAA downgraded Mexico’s safety rating to Category 2, but it just again awarded the nation a Category 1 rating, which is good news for passengers.

Let’s look at what this means for the industry and flyers.

Mexico Achieves Category 1 Safety Rating From the FAA

In 2021, the FAA concluded that Mexican aviation authorities did not meet the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This organization outlines the minimum standards that airlines around the world must meet under a program known as the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA), and then the FAA can use those standards to evaluate any airline that flies (or plans to fly) routes to the U.S., operates within the country, or has a codeshare agreement with a U.S. airline, as detailed in a press release from the FAA.

Downgrading Mexico to a Category 2 safety rating in 2021 meant that for the last couple of years, Mexican carriers weren’t allowed to commence any new service to the U.S., they could maintain only the level of service they maintained at the time of the downgrade, and they couldn’t actively participate in codeshare agreements with U.S. airlines.

As One Mile at a Time points out, this FAA downgrade didn’t imply that Mexican airlines were unsafe, but rather that the authorities responsible for ensuring compliance with minimum safety standards weren’t doing an adequate job.

Now, that’s all changed. After 2 years of collaboration between the FAA and the Agencia Federal de Aviación Civil in Mexico, the FAA has given the nation a Category 1 rating again.

MEX tarmac
Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX) in Mexico City. Image Credit: Carlos Aranda via Unsplash

Regaining the Category 1 rating means that Mexican carriers can launch new flights between Mexico and the U.S. again, and Mexican airlines can resume codeshare partnerships with U.S. airlines. This is especially important for Delta and Aeromexico, which have a close codeshare agreement.

Mexico continues to be one of the most popular travel markets for U.S.-based travelers, so travelers should be pleased to find out that there will likely be more flight options to reach destinations throughout the country very soon.

Hot Tip:

Planning a trip south of the border? Learn the best ways to fly to Mexico with points and miles, then take a look at our list of the best hotels to book with points in Mexico for your next vacation.

Final Thoughts

It’s great news that Mexico has once again achieved a Category 1 safety rating from the FAA. Soon, we should hear announcements from Mexican airlines of new routes, and passengers will have more options for flying between the 2 nations. Delta, especially, will be able to leverage its partner Aeromexico’s hub in Mexico City (MEX), which should provide U.S. travelers with plentiful connecting options for reaching much of Latin America.

Bring on the new route announcements!

Nick Ellis's image

About Nick Ellis

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to leverage the perks of each.

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