Minister says Mexican air routes through Belize not a done deal

Minister says Mexican air routes through Belize not a "done deal" -
suggests getting out of the cocoon and becoming butterflies.

Press Release - Belmopan, November 25, 1997 - (BIS) - The Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Transportation regrets the publication of a letter to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister on the issue of a signed Memorandum of Understanding and proposed BiLateral Agreement on Air Transportation between Belize and Mexico which appeared in the local newspapers on the 14th November, 1997.

The submission of the letter for publication was done in bad faith considering the following:

1. The Memorandum of Understanding only represents an intent for the establishment of a Bilateral Agreement and hence not legally binding.
2. The Bilateral Agreement requires the approval of the Cabinet before it could be signed and entered into force.
This Agreement has not been signed.
3. The Local Airlines Association was given the assurance that their concerns would have been heard once again on the 17th by the Honourable Minister of Tourism.

The main issue of concern to the Local Airlines Association is the granting of Fifth Freedom Right which would enable Mexican Airlines to drop off passengers and cargo in Belize and to pick up passengers or cargo in Belize for another country e.g. Guatemala.

The Mexican Authority has requested Fifth Freedom Rights in order to fly the route Cancun-Belize-Flores and return in exchange the Local Airlines would be able to have:

1. Present flight routes to Cancun, Chetumal, Merida and Cozumel.
The granting of Fifth Freedom will allow for the following:

i. Additional tourist flow through Belize through the Mundo Maya Regional Project.
ii. Price option to the Belizean public.
iii. Continued flight by Local Airlines to Chetumal, Merida, Cancun and Mexico City.

The above coupled with the request by Local Airlines to withdraw Fifth Freedom is a mix of interest that should be thoroughly evaluated. Should the country and the traveling Belizean forego benefits to be accrued in exchange for the protection of the local industry?

The Ministry has requested the Local Airlines Association to give a time they would require to prepare themselves for Fifth Freedom Rights.

The Ministry has yet to receive an answer to this request.

Should we therefore continue to spin a cocoon around ourselves and not become the butterfly we ought to be? Or should we embrace the Memorandum of Understanding with understanding and not fear?

Minister says Mexican air routes through Belize not a done deal

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