Image credits: Ashim D’Silva
News Article

Tourism to AICM Grows by 124 Percent

By Sofía Hanna | Mon, 05/30/2022 - 15:39

Airline schedules, cancellations, passenger flows and airport connectivity are critical elements to measure the recovery of the aviation industry. Mexico continues to increase its national and international passenger traffic, a scenario that raises concerns about the country’s airport situation. 


Globally, airport connectivity continues facing numerous challenges. “We keep seeing seats being cut, especially due to the lockdowns in China and it is frustrating because big numbers are being cut week on week. We are making progress, but there is a long way to go in terms of recovery,” said John Grant, Chief Analyst, OAG, during the “Connectivity after the pandemic” webinar.


In Latin America, numbers show that half of the ten largest countries in the region are growing in passenger traffic, with capacity now well above May 2019’s levels. However, traffic in North America is still behind.


The world’s largest airports are the one that have suffered the most, according to OAG, which divides airports according to size from Tier 1 to Tier 5. “Tier 1 are the largest airports, with over 25 million seats, accounting for 1 percent of all airports but 35 percent of capacity in 2019. Tier 5 are airports with fewer than 0.5 million seats in 2019, contributing only 5 percent of capacity but almost ¾ of all commercial airports,” said OAG. On average, all airports lost 22 percent of their seats but the ones affected the most have been Tier 1s, having lost the highest percentage of capacity. The smallest airports have lost the least. Tier 1 routes have seen their average daily frequencies fall from 4.4 to 3.5, while their seats per flight are down from 214 to 202. 


Mexico City International Airport (AICM), a Tier 1 airport, is still seeing weak numbers despite an improvement during the past few months. Between Jan. and April 2022, the airport saw 6.79 million international tourists, representing an increase of 124.2 percent compared to the same period in 2021. Most of those tourists came from the US, Canada and Colombia, with Cancun, Mexico City and Los Cabos being the most popular destinations. 


The growing traffic is increasing pressure on AICM. This airport’s oversaturation was one of the main reasons behind the construction of Mexico City’s new airport: Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA). However, to meet the needs of the rapidly increasing passengers, airlines and cargo agencies must change their strategies at AIFA, which would imply an increase in costs that could threaten various business models based on sustainability and budget efficiency, as previously reported by MBN

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Sofía Hanna Sofía Hanna Journalist and Industry Analyst