Construction activities of NAIM at Texcoco were officially suspended in December 2018, leading to negotiations between Mexico’s new federal government and contracted companies. Though the new government has repurchased US$1.8 billion worth of NAIM bonds, there is still a debt of US$4.2 billion that could be paid over the next two decades at an annual rate of US$200 million. Meanwhile, the new government will start revamping AICM as part of its strategy to deal with its saturation.
However, 2018 was a strong year for Mexican aviation. Several airport groups and the most important commercial airlines have reported a significant increase in passenger traffic. OMA and GAP reported increments of 9.7 and 10.4 percent, respectively. Similarly, Volaris, Aeroméxico and Viva Aerobus experienced growth in passenger traffic despite challenges such as rising jet fuel prices. In Mexico’s most important airport by traffic, AICM, the increase reached 6.6 percent representing 47.7 million passengers.
In more international news, Boeing delivered more commercial aircraft than Airbus in 2018. Compared to the 800 planes that Airbus built and delivered to 93 clients, Boeing delivered 806 commercial planes. Additionally, the new government of Brazil, led by Jair Bolsonaro, has given green light to the Boeing-Embraer merger.
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NAIM Construction a No-go
In December 2018, the new federal government officially cancelled construction of NAIM, thus leaving a debt of US$4.2 billion. Javier Jiménez Espriú, Minister of Communications and Transport, said the debt will be amortized throughout the next two decades by US$200 million yearly.
The works to revamp AICM will start in February starting with maintenance to one of its airstrips.
Mexico’s Soaring Passenger Traffic
Despite saturation, AICM reached a record-breaking 6.6 percent increase in passenger traffic (47.7 million passengers) in 2018.
OMA increased its passenger traffic by 9.7 percent in 2018 to 21.6 million users. Meanwhile, 44.9 million passengers went through GAP’s terminals, which resulted in a 10.4 percent increase in passenger traffic.
In 2018, Volaris transported 12 percent more passengers (18.4 million). In comparison, Aeroméxico’s passenger traffic increased by 5.9 percent to 21.87 million users that same year, while Viva Aerobus transported 22 percent more passengers (10.01 million).
A Solid Year for Aerospace OEMs
Boeing closed 2018 as the leading commercial aircraft manufacturer. The US OEM delivered 806 commercial aircraft in the year.
Airbus came in second with 800 deliveries to 93 clients, which represented an 11 percent increase in output compared to 2017.
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