Memorandum by Mr. Joseph J. Wolf of the Aviation Division to the Associate Chief of that Division ( Bell )


Subject: Status of Bilateral Air Transport Agreement Negotiations with Mexico

1. U.S. Routes sought.

By its decision in the Latin American Case, the Civil Aeronautics Board (in accordance with the desires of the President as expressed in his letter to the Civil Aeronautics Board commenting upon their proposed decision in that case, date May 16, 194616) found that the public convenience and necessity required the operation of the following routes to Mexico by U. S. airlines:

Braniff: San Antonio and Laredo to Monterrey and Mexico City.
American: Fort Worth-Dallas and San Antonio to Monterrey and Mexico City.
American: El Paso to Monterrey and Mexico City.
Western: Los Angeles and San Diego to La Paz and Mexico City.
Pan American Airways: Houston and New Orleans to Merida and beyond.
Pan American Airways: Miami via Havana to Merida and beyond.
Pan American Airways: Houston, Corpus Christi and Brownsville to Tampico, Mexico City, Tapachula and beyond.
Eastern: New Orleans to Mexico City.

Operations by American and by Pan American Airways over the routes indicated have been maintained for a number of years.

2. Mexican Airlines avid Operations.

The Mexicans originally asked for the following nine routes:

Mexico City or Mexicali to Los Angeles.
Torreon, Nogales (Ariz.) and Phoenix to Los Angeles.
Mexico City and Monterrey to San Antonio and Fort Worth–Dallas.
Torreon to Houston.
Monterrey to Houston.
Mexico City, San Antonio and Detroit to Canada.
Tampico to Brownsville and Houston.
Mexico City and Tampico to New Orleans and New York.
Mexico City or Vera Cruz to Miami and beyond.

. . . . . . .

Mexico has almost no airlines of solely Mexican nature. CMA, LAMSA, and, indeed, all of their lines, have some good amount of American backing, financially. CMA is controlled by Pan American through the ownership of a large minority block of stock.

. . . . . . .

3. Negotiations with Mexico.

In the summer of 1946 negotiations were held in Mexico City. According to despatch 593 of July 29, 1946,17 these negotiations failed primarily and publicly because Mexico felt that some sort of division of traffic should be agreed upon between the two countries as a means of protection for Mexican airlines from strong competition from U.S. airlines. As the policy of the United States did not permit the entering into of agreements along such lines, negotiations were suspended after an appeal to the President of Mexico18 resulted in his espousing the restrictive philosophy above referred to.

It appears both from the referred despatch and from personal conversations with Mr. Bohan, Economic Counselor of the Embassy, that a further point was of great importance. The route certificated to Western Airlines from Los Angeles to Mexico City would parallel the route served by CMA. The route certificated to Braniff Airways from San Antonio to Mexico City would parallel the route already served by American Airlines. Pressure was exerted and is continuously exerted at present by both Pan American Airways and American [Page 753] Airlines to prevent competition to CMA and American from being initiated as the result of the conclusion of a bilateral which would incorporate those two U.S. routes.

[Here follow sections on subsequent developments and recommendations.]

  1. Not printed.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. xi, pp. 993 ff.
  3. Miguel Alemán Valdes.