Aerospace Sector Seeks to Restart Operations Mid-MayBy Alessa Flores | Thu, 05/07/2020 - 15:14
According to health authorities, it is expected that on May 30, the national quarantine will be lifted and that those municipalities with the least contagion will begin to resume activities as of May 17. Likewise, it is expected that aerospace and automotive plants will restart work gradually from May 18, said on May 4 the president of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), Francisco Santini Ramos in an interview with Diario de Chihuahua.
The President of the National Council of the Maquiladora and Export Manufacturing Industry (INDEX), Luis Aguirre Lang, stressed that the automotive, metal-mechanical, electrical, electronic, aerospace and plastics sectors have had to stop despite being part of vital international supply chains, according to a note from Forbes Mexico. However, it is expected that in the following days there will be more clarity on how the process of economic reactivation will evolve.
Now let’s jump into the Week of Aerospace!
Status on the Santa Lucia Project
On Monday’s daily morning press conference, President López Obrador presented another video of the Santa Lucia airport’s progress from SEDENA, similar to the one presented on April 20. Construction of the Felipe Ángeles International Airport continues despite warnings from aviation industry authorities claiming that the airport will not prove necessary until the traveling and aviation industry recovers fully from COVID-19 shutdowns. The video contrasts to some extent with a recent report from El Economista, which details the extent to which this project might be going over budget. It appears that SEDENA has, in 1Q20, already spent over US$214.52 million on the Santa Lucia airport project, which represents 97 percent of the entire budget originally assigned for 2020.
Airlines Prepare to Tackle a New COVID-19 Reality
The aviation and tourism industries are going through one of their most critical moments in modern history. Flights have been canceled and traveler mobility is limited. In the midst of this crisis unleashed by COVID-19, companies are wondering how their business models are going to change and the answer is almost always the same: everyone in the industry, from companies, flight crews and even passengers must face a new reality. "Air traffic has practically disappeared. In the last week of March, there was a 90 percent reduction in traffic. And if Mexico, Brazil and Chile, which are the only countries with domestic flights, were excluded, the drop would be 97 percent," said in an interview with the BBC the Director of the Division for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Airports Council International (ACI-LAC) Rafael Echevarne. According to ACI-LAC, in 1Q20, the region's airports lost 40 million passengers and more than US$700 million in revenue.
Air Cargo: Ally in the Fight Against COVID-19
The COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the importance of the global supply chain for the transportation of foodstuffs, medicines and medical supplies. In early march, when the crisis intensified, many airlines were forced to cancel passenger flights due to low demand and border closures. This situation complicated logistics for the transportation of numerous essential goods and supplies as passenger airlines carry about half of the world’s cargo, according to IATA. Airlines are adapting to this new reality and paying more attention to cargo. Viva Aerobus turned 10 of its Airbus A320 into fully cargo flights by using both the cabin and cargo holds for the transportation of goods, which will allow the aircraft to carry up to 19 tons of cargo.