Mexico calls for 'urgent' meeting with U.S. over air safety rating

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FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador addresses to the nation on his second anniversary as the President of Mexico, at the National Palace in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican officials met with bosses of the country's airlines on Wednesday and called for a meeting with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to address the agency's downgrading of Mexico's air safety rating, the government said.

"We have sent the FAA administrator a new statement by email requesting an urgent meeting with its auditors to jointly review, with our specialists, the evidence submitted," Deputy Transport Minister Carlos Alfonso Moran said in a statement issued late on Wednesday.

On Tuesday the FAA downgraded the country's aviation safety rating, an action that bars Mexican carriers from adding new U.S. flights and limits the ability of airlines to carry out marketing agreements with one another.

On Thursday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the downgrading of the rating was "not that serious."

During their meeting, the airline chiefs and the ministry agreed on a plan to quickly recover the rating, the government said.

The FAA downgraded Mexico - the most common international destination for U.S. air travelers last month - from a level called Category 1, which signifies compliance with international standards, to Category 2, the lowest level.

(Reporting by Raul Cortes; Writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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