Routes Opening, Closing Due to COVID-19By Alessa Flores | Thu, 09/03/2020 - 16:53
Due to the reduced demand for flights, some airlines have had to cancel routes and others have taken the opportunity to open new routes. A note by A21 highlights that Interjet has closed CDMX-Cozumel and CDMX-Puerto Vallarta flights. Although the airline has not announced that it will stop flying to the destination, it has temporarily closed these routes due to low demand. Additionally, in September it will reactivate at least three of the routes it had suspended due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic and will open six new ones, explains a Forbes Mexico article.
Volaris announced a new direct flight from Mexico City to Houston starting November 12, according a note from Reportur. On the other hand, Aeroméxico announced that it will inaugurate two new routes from Guadalajara to Los Cabos and Cancún.
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Veronica Rojas, a research professor at CETYS Baja California, explained that due to the high complexity of building satellites or spacecraft, the aeronautical industry will require greater momentum. Specifically, Rojas highlighted that it is necessary for Mexico to do more R&D since currently 79 percent of the aerospace companies in the country are dedicated only to maquila, 10 percent to repairs and only 11 percent to innovation and development.
Gradually, the aviation industry seems to be recovering from its lows earlier this year when airlines across the globe grounded their fleets in response to governments’ efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. In its latest traffic report, IATA describes that the global aviation had a “sluggish” recovery in July as interest to travel begins to mount. In July, demand for air travel measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) was 79.8 percent below 2019 levels but this number represents a significant increase over June’s 86.6 percent decrease in RPKs. The association points out that the increase in demand was linked to the reopening of the Schengen Area but domestic travel is also increasing across some markets. However, the association warns that further border closings could hamper the industry’s recovery.
While domestic aviation has been gradually recovering from the drastic lows it faced earlier this year as measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 took hold, international aviation is still lagging behind. One of the reasons for the continued slum international aviation faces is the discrepancies in travel policies across countries and regions, explains ALTA. In Latin America, the outbreak has been highly hurtful to the local aviation industry, which is expected to close 2020 with US$4 billion in the red, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and has already seen three major airlines filing for bankruptcy protection. In the Latin American region, policies varied widely. For instance, Mexico kept its borders open to all international traffic and implemented no restrictions on domestic air travel, while other major aviation hubs including Brazil, Colombia and Peru closed their borders temporarily.