Exclusive: U.S. prepares to downgrade Mexico air safety rating - sources

By David Shepardson and Frank Jack Daniel

The U.S. government is preparing to downgrade Mexico's aviation safety rating, a move that will bar Mexican carriers from adding new U.S. flights and limits airlines ability to carry out marketing agreements, four sources briefed on the matter said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) planned move is expected be announced in the coming days and follows a lengthy review of Mexico's aviation oversight by the agency.

Downgrading Mexico from Category 1 to Category 2 will mean current U.S. service by Mexican carriers is unaffected, but they cannot launch new flights and airline-to-airline marketing practices, like selling seats on each other's flights in code-share arrangements, are restricted.

An FAA spokesman declined to comment.