Mexican airport groups report traffic slumps of 40-50% in May after swine flu outbreak

Image: Ribbon Cutting
AeroMexico launched daily services between Mexico City and Toronto in March. It is the airline’s first Canadian service and reflects its strategic goal of establishing a major presence in Canada.

The outbreak of swine flu in Mexico at the end of April has, not surprisingly, had a major impact on traffic at the country’s airports in May. GAP, which operates 12 airports, reported a traffic drop of 36.6% across its airports while OMA reported a fall of 39.7% across its airports. ASUR which operates Cancun (a popular airport for international flights) saw demand fall by 50%. Cancun saw domestic traffic down 35% while international traffic was down a massive 63%.

Chart: Airport Groups
Source: AICM, ASUR, GAP, OMA

The three main airport groups operate 34 airports which last year handled some 54 million people.

Organisation 2008 passengers Main airports (2008 pax)
ASUR 17.8 million across 9 airports Cancun (12.6m), Merida (1.3m)
GAP 22.3 million across 12 airports Guadalajara (7.2m), Tijuana (4.0m), Puerto Vallarta (3.3m), San Jose Del Cabo (3.0m), Hermosillo (1.3m)
OMA 14.1 million across 13 airports Monterrey (6.6m), Culiacan (1.1m), Acapulco (1.1m)

Mexico City (AICM) handled 26.2 million passengers last year, up 1.3% on 2007, but has not yet reported traffic data beyond March 2009.

Domestic demand already down before May

Even before the health scare at the end of April domestic traffic in Mexico in 2009 has been declining. In January it was down 9%, followed by 11% in February and 14% in March.

Chart: Mexican Growth
Source: DGAC Mexico

The collapse of three carriers (Aerocalifornia, Alma and Avolar) in the second half of 2008 has left 10 airlines competing in the domestic market, down from 14 in 2006. Seven airlines now have between 10% and 20% of the Mexican domestic market.

Chart: Domestic air traffic
Source: DGAC Mexico

In April the leading five carriers all had between 13.5% and 14.4% of the market with low-cost carriers (Interjet, Mexicana Click, Vivaaerobus and Volaris) having around 46% of the total domestic market. Next week sees the launch of Volaris flights to Los Angeles, its first destination in the US.


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