:D . I recall how nuts the Catalan government got to grant 5th freedom flights to MEX to build their "long haul hub" (despite not having a single local long-haul carrier other than LEVEL).
I wouldn't be surprised that Aeromexico now drops Barcelona too, which at best of times was a marginal route (only restarting it in 2019) to focus in Madrid.
Maybe I'm reading this wrong? but BCN had plenty of long haul carriers, including AC, CX, DL, DY, EY, KE, WS and UA just off the top of my head...
On top of that Norwegian at one point was even flying to at least 3 or more destinations in the Americas at one point.
Barcelona did not and does not have many long-haul carriers to LatAm. According to Wikipedia:
- Aeromexico: MEX; this a new route also launched at about the same time as EK's (late last year)
- Avianca: BOG
- LATAM: LIM, GRU (GRU is only a few years old)
- LEVEL: EZE, SCL (which are relatively new routes)
So not long ago, BCN did only have Avianca (BOG), LATAM (LIM), Aerolíneas (EZE, which dropped a couple of years ago) and Singapore (GRU as 5th freedom which also was cancelled). Not to mention most of those routes are not even daily. Now if you compare it with MAD (and Catalan politicians always compare everything with MAD), when Aeromexico/Emirates started MEX, MAD-MEX was up to five... daily flights.
As for North America flights, I expect many of those to be cancelled soon. Those flights depend overwhelmingly on American cruise passengers which for the time being are gone. For instance, AA has already cancelled CLT (definitely) and this winter there are no BCN-Florida flights (considering that by a wide margin MIA/FLL is the 2nd largest market from Spain after NYC, it is interesting).
The Catalan government has a bad time with Barcelona not being a hub for a long haul carrier (other than that low-cost version of Madrid-based Iberia called LEVEL). Hence why all those 5th freedom flights (Singapore or Emirates) When it was the Spanair saga about 10 years ago, they wanted Qatar Airways to purchase it and create a hub. There are plenty of articles about this: https://www.eleconomista.es/empresas-fi ... a-mas.html
So this EK's 5th freedom to MEX is not by "chance"... it is part of a repeteadly failed strategy of the Catalan government and their obsession to create a long-haul hub out of BCN. Unfortunately today Barcelona is a holiday cruise market more akin to Athens or Naples than to a major business center. Hence why BCN despite having 50 million PAX in 2019 was not a hub for a legacy carrier (and Vueling/LEVEL are not). Low-cost central.