CANAERO Concerned About the Future of Mexican AirlinesBy Sofía Hanna | Wed, 06/23/2021 - 21:22
Mexico could lose thousands of jobs and see several economic sectors hurt should local airlines go bankrupt, warned Luis Osorio, General Director of the National Air Transport Chamber (CANERO). In a recent report, Osorio discussed the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in the local aviation industry and mentioned that the industry is highly concerned as it is undergoing its worst crisis in history.
Flight cancellations tripled and reservations dropped by 70 percent since the start of the pandemic, explained Osorio. While airlines are suffering, the damage has not been contained to them, he added. The tourism sector has also been heavily affected by lockdowns and international travel restrictions. About 90 percent of international tourists arrive into Mexico by air, leading to an economic spill of US$19.6 million a year. Moreover, the aviation and tourism industries also generate a large number of jobs. Osorio also highlighted that Mexico needs to support this labor base because jobs in the aviation industry are long-term, given the long training they require.
CANAERO has analyzed strategies to overcome the crisis, explained Osorio. He highlighted that the sector needs to take concrete actions and measures to contain the economic damages the industry has suffered. For this to be possible, the sector needs all possible help from government institutions.
The industry has discussed these concerns with Mexican authorities including the Treasury and Migration and even with airports. The discussed options include lines of credit and fuel subsidies, among others. However, no clear actions have been taken. The deadline for making this decision was supposed to be Mar. 25, 2021, explained Osorio, but no agreement has been reached. The goal is for all affected parties to join forces and reach a common and much-needed objective, he added.
As previously mentioned by MBN, Mexico saw a total of 590,600 flights during the first four months of 2019 but there were only 199,300 during that same period in 2021. The number of trained pilots also dropped abruptly from 5,067 in 2019 to 694 in 2021. In previous occasions, CANERO had warned authorities of the dangers the collapse of this industry could lead to. The sector is facing its worst crisis in history, which has led institutions to forecast that the travel crisis could last much longer than COVID-19 itself.