During the process of recovering air passengers in the country, the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) reduced its market share and the Cancun airport increased it, which puts pressure on the objectives of boosting operations at the International Airport Felipe Angeles (AIFA).

Based on figures from the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC), of the total number of people who were transported by plane last March (eight million 926,954), 35.1% passed through the AICM and 30.7% through the Cancun terminal, while, in the same month of 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the shares were 46.4 and 27.5 percent.

The Guadalajara and Monterrey terminals, which occupy the following positions in passengers served, have maintained their levels: 13.6 and 9.4%, respectively.

Among the reasons that have motivated the rearrangement of airport activity, of which there are still no indications that it is temporary, is that national and international airlines have started routes that no longer have to go through the AICM. In addition, American and European travelers have “overturned” to vacation in Cancun.

Among the examples of new markets served are the direct flights of VivaAerobus, Volaris or VivaAir from Colombian cities to Cancun or the Aeroméxico routes: Monterrey-Madrid and Guadalajara-Madrid. In domestic operations, Volaris already flies directly from Cancun to Morelia or Culiacán. Air analyst Carlos Torres considered that given the service complications faced by the AICM, companies have begun to see other airports with better facilities and better capacity to serve their flights, even developing routes, which does not imply that they stop their operations in Mexico’s main airport.

“It caught my attention that, since the winter, while the AICM had delays, Cancun increased its daily operations with its infrastructure of two simultaneous runways. Many of the national and international tourists who passed through AICM are finding direct flight alternatives. So it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few months,” he added.

Based on AFAC figures, in March 2019 of the main 10 national routes, eight were related to the capital airport and last March there were already seven (the remaining are: Tijuana-Guadalajara, Guadalajara-Cancún and Monterrey-Cancún) .

Along with the rearrangement, the federal government seeks to bring more activity to AIFA, which currently has six routes (two from Aeroméxico, two from Volaris and two from VivaAerobus).

Last Wednesday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that he had talked with a member of the Aeroméxico Board of Directors so that they would have more activity, “to help us (…). Also, because it is a good airport, it is the effort of many people, it is the image of our country, so I have to take care of that, it is part of my job. I take this opportunity to ask the director of VivaAerobus (…), although they will surely speak to him, or the Secretary of Communications or the Secretary of the Interior. And to Volaris too, let them talk to them… Because the city’s airport is already full.”

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