Mexico’s New AIFA Airport Continues With Challenges
By KELIN DILLON
Less than one month after the Mexican government announced the movement of 204 flights from the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) to the newly constructed Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA), the AIFA is already registering considerable problems with its new operations systems.
While the government intended to reduce the AICM’s operations by 25 percent, some national airlines, like Viva Aerobus and Aeroméxico, are refusing to change their in-place operations from the AICM, instead electing to open new flight paths to the AIFA, while maintaining a continued presence in Mexico City’s original airport.
“It is very important that destinations are not being sent to the AIFA and cutting the connectivity that currently exists from the Mexico City International Airport,” said Aeroméxico communications director Christian Pastrana.
Though the federal authorities’ intention to reduce the burden on the AICM has clearly not been readily embraced by the nation’s airlines, the airspace restructuring continues; more than 336 flights are expected to operate out of the AIFA per week in the months to come, mainly concentrated on domestic operations.
Volaris has been more readily accepting of the shift, and was purportedly offered a 40 percent lower operating cost to fly out of the AIFA as opposed to the AICM, incentives reportedly not extended to other airlines.
“If there is no reduction in operations at the AICM, the urgent maintenance needed will not be able to be carried out,” a source told daily Mexican newspaper El Financiero.
Still, despite the push toward the AIFA, not all is going according to plan, with recent reports revealing that the new airport lacks stringent registration with its inbound flights, an issue demonstrated through the 4,438 Venezuelans who have entered Mexico through flights to the AIFA without any of these flights being documented on record by the Federal Civil Aviation Agency.