Not All Cargo Airline Operations to Be Moved to the AIFA
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Not All Cargo Airline Operations to Be Moved to the AIFA

Photo by:   Miguel Ángel Sanz
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Paloma Duran By Paloma Duran | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Thu, 07/20/2023 - 17:36

Due to the mandatory relocation of cargo operations, the 15 cargo airlines operating at the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) will migrate to the Felipe Angeles Airport (AIFA). However, not all of them will try to have the same capacity at AIFA as they had at AICM.

While Isidoro Pastor, Director General, AIFA, said that all cargo airlines have opted to relocate, companies, such as Estafeta, have changed their logistics plans. Previously, the company had two cargo flights at the AICM. However, now it will split its operations between the Santa Lucia airport and Puebla's Hermanos Serdan International Airport. Ingo Babrikowski, CEO, Estafeta, explained that the changes were made to improve the delivery of goods. Estafeta announced that it will begin operations at the AIFA and Puebla airports by August 14.

Pastor stated that 15 cargo airlines are expected to operate at AIFA by September, with at least one flight per day, which will give AIFA an additional 450 flights per month.

Since May 2022, airlines and cargo agencies have been encouraged to consider relocating their operations to AIFA. On Feb. 2, 2023, a decree was published in the DOF making the move mandatory for cargo operators. The original deadline was set on July 7. However, for airlines to successfully transition their operations to other airports, they needed adequate equipment for cargo warehouses authorized by the Mexican Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) and an operational customs system, among other requirements.  

During a visit by US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to Mexico, he raised his concerns regarding the deadline for airlines to obtain international permits and certifications. With these concerns from the industry in mind, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador granted an extension to the migration deadline to Sep. 1, aiming to ensure a smoother transition.

SICT has said that the relocation of cargo operations to AIFA would reduce congestion at AICM. Furthermore, AIFA would offer more attractive airport fees, 41% to 52% lower than average, and will accommodate up to 3 million t of cargo annually at its full potential. 

Previously, Carlos Velázquez Tiscareño, Director General, AICM, told El Financiero, that the decree has not caused any company to cancel storage contracts at the airport. He emphasized that although their operations will be moved to the AIFA, most of the goods will continue to be transported in their commercial aircraft.

Photo by:   Miguel Ángel Sanz

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