EconomyFinancialAir France-KLM will expand its capacity in Mexico, but...

Air France-KLM will expand its capacity in Mexico, but rules out AIFA

The European conglomerate Air France-KLM expects to close the year with a 13% increase in the capacity placed between Europe and Mexico compared to 2019, with which it will seek to satisfy a demand greater than pre-pandemic levels between both markets, although not for all the segments.

Air France currently has around 12 weekly flights between Paris and Mexico City , operated with Boeing 777-300 and Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner aircraft, and up to five flights per week between Paris and Cancún . Additionally, KLM has a daily flight between Amsterdam and Mexico City , operated with a Boeing 787-900.

Guilhem Mallet , outgoing CEO of the company in Mexico, explained that the pandemic favored a recomposition of the market; While before COVID-19, 50% of the passengers were Mexican and the other half were European, they currently maintain a rate of 70% foreigners and 30% nationals, which continues to stabilize.

“We are coming out of the pandemic, it is good news,” said the manager in the final stretch of his position, which he held for the last four years before Wouter Alders entered as general director in the country. “We have grown in capacity and sales compared to 2019.”

Mallet also reiterated that the company has no plans to fly to Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) , as it prioritized the connectivity it has with Aeroméxico through a code-share alliance, through which it connects around a quarter of its customers. in Mexico.

“We have about 250 passengers connecting daily through Aeroméxico (…) We have no plans to switch to AIFA due to equipment and connectivity issues,” he added.

To attract more passengers, the airline also announced that it will implement a new class on its flights with Mexico, in the premium economy category, similar to that implemented by other airlines in the world, and which is above the usual tourist class, but one level below first class (or business class ).

In addition, the airline will implement a new cabin for its business class , which will have new panels to create a capsule environment isolated from the rest of the seats, similar to what other airlines such as Qatar Airways and Iberia have implemented.

However, Mallet pointed out that this market has not yet fully recovered from the pandemic, contrary to the tourism segment, which rebounded after the lifting of travel restrictions to Europe.

Since November of last year, the air market between France and Mexico exceeded pre-pandemic levels, with 344,604 passengers served in the first half of the year.

Air France had the largest share of this market in June –with 68.1%–, while Aeroméxico concentrated 31.9% of passengers in the same period.

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