[Airports] September 1, 2023, 7:27 pm ET. By John Flett.
The reduction of over 1,000 flights per week at Mexico City International Airport (MEX) is expected to take effect from the beginning of the Northern Winter schedule at the end of October, according to Reuters. News of the Mexican government-imposed reductions this week taking flight numbers down from 52 to 43 per hour has been met with criticism from airlines and airline advocacy group IATA (International Air Transport Association) given the changes are required with less than 2 months’ notice.
Peter Cerda, IATA Regional Vice President, said: “This decision by the government does not take into account the interests of consumers, nor does it respect the necessary consultative process with operators and users, especially at the country’s main airport.” Ironically, IATA held its Wings of Change Americas conference in Mexico in June and stated during the closing remarks that they were looking forward ‘to working with the Mexican Government to create a joint agenda to further utilize aviation to create jobs and economic opportunities for the country and its people.’
The Mexican government cites the need to reduce capacity in the Mexican capital’s airspace as one of the reasons for the cuts. The ability to accommodate more flights at Felipe Angeles International Airport (NLU) is also behind the rationale. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday: “Since we have the (NLU), which does have the capacity, that’s how we’re going to resolve this.”
NLU opened in March 2022 and major Mexican carriers Aeroméxico, Volaris and Viva Aerobús operate from the airport in addition to MEX. However, all three airlines were critical of Thursday’s announcement by the president and the fact that no criteria have so far been given on how the cuts will affect all airlines, not just the Mexican carriers.
In a statement reported by Reuters, Viva Aerobus said: “The…