Aeromexico does not want to move out from Mexico City’s Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX). The Mexican flag carrier does not want to send a fraction of its operations to other hubs, such as the Felipe Ángeles International Airport (NLU) or the Toluca International Airport (TLC), which is something that it will most likely have to do by the start of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) winter season. Aeromexico has taken MEX’s claimed saturation to court to avoid this possible scenario.
What happened here?
A month ago, the Mexican government announced the Mexico City International Airport will not accept new flights; instead, those services will have to go to the newly inaugurated Felipe Ángeles International Airport. The airport will also reduce its number of hourly operations from 60 to between 48 and 49 per hour.
These announcements were made following a few developments, including the International Federation of Air Line Pilots (IFALPA) concerns regarding Mexico City’s airspace and a near collision between two Volaris aircraft in Mexico City. Even before that, the Mexican government had issued a decree signaling that MEX’s two terminals were saturated most of the day, surpassing the acceptable number of passengers.
Additionally, the government and the airline industry met and agreed to add new commercial services from NLU and TLC. So far, NLU has around 12 commercial operations daily, and Toluca has none, signaling a failure to push the metropolitan airport system in Mexico City (composed of MEX, NLU, and TLC and aimed to reduce the heavy workloads at MEX).
So far, NLU has minimal operations, and in April, it had a little over 1,100 daily passengers. Overall, it had nearly 35,000 passengers in one month, which is about 18% of what MEX handles in a single day. Shortly after, Aeromexico, Viva Aerobus, and Volaris announced several new domestic routes from NLU and TLC. Volaris even accepted that it would reduce in by around 10% its capacity at MEX.
Aeromexico will not reduce its capacity
While Volaris agreed to reduce its capacity at MEX, Aeromexico and Viva Aerobus have not. Moreover, Aeromexico announced it had taken to court the Mexican government MEX’s declaration of saturation.
In a short statement released earlier this week, Aeromexico said: “The airline submitted to judicial review aspects related to saturation declarations and studies on the operating capacity of the terminal. The challenged acts are the declaration of saturation of the terminal buildings of the Mexico City International Airport and analysis that limits the number of operations at this airport, which was prepared by the previous administration of the Mexican Airspace Navigation Services (SENEAM) and which lacks fundamental technical elements. The Felipe Angeles International Airport is not included in any of the acts complained of.”
“Aeromexico reiterates its commitment to the development of airport capacity in the metropolitan area. Therefore, on May 19, it announced a significant increase in its operations to and from NLU, which will offer more than one and a half million seats from the airport by 2023. The latter will be achieved thanks to the growing investment in additional fleet, which allows maintaining the current network and connectivity from MEX.”
Daniel Martínez Garbuno is a Mexican journalist. He has specialized in the air industry working mainly for A21, a Mexican media outlet focused entirely on the aviation world. He has also published on other sites like Simple Flying, Roads & Kingdoms, Proceso, El Economista, Buzos de la Noticia, Contenido, and Notimex.