Airlines using Mexico City hub accept temporary 15% reduction in flights

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MEXICO CITY: Airlines using Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport have agreed to temporarily reduce flights at the hub from 61 per hour to 52 during peak hours, starting October 31, the Ministry of Transportation announced Thursday. country.

The reduction, which represents a reduction of almost 15% and still awaiting final approval, follows previous flight caps at the airport announced earlier this year, as the country modifies the capital’s airspace. with the aim of reducing flight saturation at the hub.

The ministry said in a statement that the measure – affecting flights from 7 a.m. to 10:59 p.m. local time (12:00 GMT to 3:59 p.m. GMT) – would be put in place for the winter season, without specifying a closing date.

In May, authorities announced a measure whereby some flights would be moved to the new Felipe Angeles Airport (AIFA) on the outskirts of Mexico City, while commercial flight slots at Benito Juarez Airport would be capped.

The move came after a video showing two planes belonging to Mexican carrier Volaris nearly crashing into Benito Juarez Airport (AICM) went viral in May.

In recent months, some airlines have increased their flight offers to AIFA and Toluca International Airport west of Mexico City.

The agreement was reached at a meeting attended by the majority of airlines using the AICM, the ministry said.

Mexican airline Viva Aerobus was among those present and agreed to cut flights, a spokesperson said.

“The infrastructural conditions of the AICM require temporary assistance to (carry out repairs),” Viva Aerobus said.

A Volaris spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. An airline official said Wednesday that Volaris would cut flights at the AICM by 10% in August and 10% in September, without mentioning a further reduction.

A spokesperson for Aeromexico also did not respond to a request for comment, but said in June that the airline had “submitted to judicial review aspects related to saturation and operational capacity studies” of the AICM.

(Reporting by Kylie Madry; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell, Christopher Cushing and Rashmi Aich)

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