The Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) expects to achieve profits in its second year of operation, because although the offer of flights has increased gradually, there are still challenges to grow, such as the degradation of Mexican air safety to Category 2.
“[Profitability] is projected for when we turn two years old, between December 2023 and March 2024,” said Isidoro Pastor, general director of AIFA, in an interview with the media during the inaugural flight of the Dominican airline Arajet.
The official also said that, to date, the airport has served almost 300,000 users, and estimated that the airport will close in 2022 with traffic between 600,000 and 700,000 passengers. By the end of its first year of operations, in March 2023, it expects to exceed a traffic of one million passengers.
The AIFA comes from a season in which airlines have added several routes. Aeroméxico doubled the routes it offered, which went from three to six destinations; Volaris added nine flights to the two it already had, and Viva Aerobus added five new routes in July and three more in early September.
Regarding the entry of new flights, Pastor said that there is an interest of the national airlines that already operate in the AIFA to open connections to the United States, in cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, San Antonio and Florida; however, downgrading to Category 2 has slowed down these plans.
The move by the US Federal Aviation Administration has also affected the plan to move cargo and charter operations from Mexico City International Airport (AICM) to AIFA.
“No more movements are being estimated right now until Category  is recovered, because if a cargo plane flying to the United States wishes to do so from here, it is prevented by the category level we have,” he explained.
However, the manager stated that up to 45% of international cargo could pass from AICM to AIFA, despite the fact that the agreement announced with the airlines in May this year only referred to national cargo.
At the moment, the AIFA has projected the entry of Copa Airlines for September 26, which will operate to Panama with two weekly frequencies. In addition, Arajet will increase its AIFA flights from three to four weekly frequencies.
“When we decided to come to AIFA there was skepticism, but of the 18 routes that Arajet has, Felipe Ángeles is the best-selling one,” said Victor Pacheco Mendez, general director of Arajet.