Mexican airlines are getting closer to recovering the connectivity they had before the COVID-19 pandemic. During February, the companies had presence in 55 of the 58 airports where they operated compared to 2020, with 85% of the routes they registered in the same period, although with an international connectivity that is still far from recovering.
According to figures from the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), domestic airlines operated 113 routes to foreign countries in February 2020, which for this year was reduced by 22%, accumulating 88 connections. The decrease was similar in terms of presence, which went from 72 to 56 airports served.
However, the impact of the pandemic has not been the same for all airlines. In the case of Volaris, for example, it registered a presence in 43 domestic airports in January and February, three more than those served in the same period of 2020, while it flies to 34 of the 39 foreign complexes registered last year, Expansión reported.
Similarly, Aeroméxico Connect -focused on domestic and regional flights- practically recovered its presence by operating in 41 domestic airports, with a similar number of routes. However, considering Grupo Aeromexico, there is a loss of 20 routes and airports.
In the midst of this situation, Viva Aerobus has found room to grow in the international segment. The low-cost carrier operates more than double the number of routes abroad -11 from five in 2020-, with a presence at 11 airports from the seven it served last year.
In the domestic market, Viva Aerobus operated even more routes in January than before the pandemic, registering a total of 103 from 100 in 2020.
The case of Interjet has been the most critical. Before ceasing operations -since last December 11-, the company had a presence in seven airports with only six routes, which were served by three aircraft in the domestic market. In the international segment, the airline is about to complete a year without any flights.
At the regional level, Mexico has been one of the countries that has recovered its connectivity the fastest by not imposing restrictions of any kind for travel both within the country and from abroad, said Peter Cerdá, vice-president for the Americas of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
“The government complied by not closing or placing restrictions on flights, which has allowed us to maintain connectivity, even though no financial support was received. This helped to maintain operations, and, even, in the domestic case we are at more than 90% of the flights that were operating in 2019,” he told media recently.
By Juan Tolentino Morales