The schedule of takeoff and landing times – also known as slots – at the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) contracted in some airlines for the winter season, in accordance with the scheduled 15% reduction in airport operations capital; however, for other airlines the number of assigned schedules remained unchanged, and for others it even increased compared to 2021.
According to data from the AICM Slot Assignment Sub-Management, Aeroméxico – the airline with the largest presence at the capital airport in terms of schedules – will reduce its schedules by 17% for the winter season this year compared to 2021, with which which will stop operating in 16,436 time slots. This reduction is equivalent to 88% of the total slots cut .
Similarly, Volaris will reduce its AICM schedules by 12%, equivalent to 2,922 slots. In the case of the regional company Aeromar , the adjustment is more significant, since it will stop operating just over half of its slots , by giving up 4,348 slots.
However, the reduction will not apply to all airlines. This is the case of Viva Aerobus , the third largest airline in the AICM after Interjet ceased operations, which has approved 27% more slots for the winter period, which means 4,950 more slots than last year.
In total, 15 airlines have fewer approved slots for the winter of this year, while 18 companies will remain unchanged.
On the contrary, eight airlines have increased take-off and landing times at the AICM. In addition to Viva Aerobus, the airlines Volaris Costa Rica , Turkish Airlines , AeroUnion , Mas Air , Magnicharters and Cathay Pacific will have more slots .
According to a government source, who requested anonymity, the agreed reduction of 15% was on the limit of operations per hour, which allowed airlines that did not reach the limit of 52 operations to increase their slots . Hence, the reduction in flights would last for at least a year .
“We hope that at least it will also cover the next season in the summer of 2023 ,” said the source with knowledge of the matter. “The safest thing is that it stays at 52 operations per hour. The strong rearrangement in winter season itineraries; they are already accommodated, right now all the companies and the airport are working in the summer season.”
On August 25, the AICM announced an agreement with the airlines to temporarily reduce their operations for the winter season, which would go from the current cap of 61 operations per hour to a maximum of 52.
The reduction will be made in the saturated schedules, which contemplate from 7:00 a.m. to 10:59 p.m., and will come into force as of October 31.
Expansión reached out to Aeroméxico, Viva Aerobus and Volaris but they were not immediately available for comment on the slot reduction.