The Mexican government may close cargo operations at Mexico City International Airport (AICM) and move them to Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA), according to a leaked document.
The preliminary draft claims that AICM will ban cargo operations to improve mobility for passengers. Since May 2022, airlines and cargo agencies had been asked to consider moving to AIFA but industry leaders rejected the switch, claiming it would increase their costs and would threaten various business models based on sustainability and budget efficiency.
The leaked document reports that AICM will be closed “for the operations of concessionaires and permit holders that provide national and international scheduled and non-scheduled air transportation services to the public, exclusively for cargo. Concessionaires and permit holders that provide combined passenger and cargo services are exempted, provided cargo is transported in the same aircraft as passengers,” according to El Universal.
The 2022 AIFA positioning strategy introduced by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT) mentions that AICM could close cargo activities, should AIFA be prepared to manage them, according to El Economista. The proposed decree argues that moving cargo to AIFA aims to ease the saturation of AICM’s Terminal 1 and 2 buildings.
“Invoking saturation as an argument to bring airlines to AIFA is not valid. Moving our operations would mean that for the same packages we handle today, we would have to operate two warehouses and sometimes put trucks on the street, which are already saturated. All this increases cost and complexity,” Frank Nozinsky, Director of Commercial Sales for Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, and Central America and the Caribbean, Lufthansa Cargo and LCSLM Mexico, told Forbes Mexico.
Concessionaires and permit holders that provide air transportation services would have a maximum of 90 business days from the entry into force of this decree to relocate out of AICM. Passenger flights, which also transport cargo in the hold, will be able to continue offering this service because the decree states that concessionaires and permit holders that provide combined passenger and cargo services are exempted, provided that the cargo is transported in the same aircraft as the passengers. The final draft could be published by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in the following days in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF).