Mexican airlines compete for slots at Mexico City airport


Mexico City, Mexico — Following the departure of several competitors and the Interjet fiasco, Mexican airlines have been scrambling to find slots at Mexico City International Airport (AICM) for the current winter season.

The biggest beneficiaries of this move were Aeroméxico and Viva Aerobus. The first allocated 14,264 more hours compared to 2019, which means an increase of 18%.

Meanwhile, low-cost carrier Viva Aerobus has 125% more slots, growing from 8,237 to 18,571 over the past two years. According to an expansion analysis performed with AICM data, this was followed by Volaris, which, with an addition of 6,817 slots, increased its presence at the AICM by 40%.

This positions it as the second largest airline at the airport after the departure of Interjet, which in 2019 had 40,593 allocated slots.

In total, Aeroméxico, Viva Aerobus and Volaris together added 31,415 slots between winter 2019 and 2021, which is equivalent to almost 80% of the schedules lost by Interjet. In August, Volaris placed one million seats in the AICM for the first time in its history.

Other increases include Colombian airline Viva Air, which entered the Mexican market this year, and has 1,008 allocated slots, a level similar to one of its main competitors Avianca, which has 1,176. slots.

In addition, Air Canada will have 68% more schedules compared to 2019, as part of a strategy in which it plans to double its weekly frequencies by November, with a strategy focused on the AICM.

All of these airlines took advantage of slots left by other airlines that ceased to operate in the IMCA following the financial blow caused by the pandemic. Among them, Interjet, Alitalia and the American JetBlue. There are also the Chinese companies Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines, which ceased operations in Mexico before the pandemic.


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