Both airports closed 2020 near pre-pandemic levels, as urban destinations slowly regain traffic.
The proximity to the United States and the wide air supply have boosted domestic traffic at the Tijuana, Los Cabos, and Cancun airports, which during December led to the recovery of passengers in this segment, approaching the levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tijuana airport has had the best performance after historic drops in traffic levels. With almost 517,000 of the 519,000 passengers served in December 2019, the destination registered an adjustment in its arrivals of just -0.4% in the national segment, although in the international segment the decrease was almost half compared to the previous year, which speaks of a slow advance of the foreign market.
Similar trends were registered in Los Cabos and Cancun, where airlines register falls below 10% for domestic passengers, but close to 50% in the international arena.
Part of the dynamism of these airports has been caused by the same air offer, which has opted for tourist destinations in recent months, considers Alejandra Marcos, an analyst at Intercam Casa de Bolsa.
“Basically GAP (which operates the Tijuana and Los Cabos airports) has benefited from Volaris, which, after Interjet’s exit, has grabbed a much larger share in the domestic market. In fact, in December it increased its capacity by more than 2% ”, he explained.
Added to this is a Mexican tourism of higher segments that has chosen to vacation in Mexico, adds Gerardo Herrera, an academic at the Universidad Iberoamericana.
“This lawsuit is not enough to make up for what has been lost, but it will prevent it from being a total loss,” he said.
However, for urban destinations, the story has been different. Although the Mexico City airport is still the largest in terms of domestic traffic, during December it registered a 39% drop, similarly to other capitals such as Guadalajara (which had an adjustment of -31%) and Monterrey (-41.5 %).
Although the airport group Asur has benefited from operating vacation destinations –such as Cancun–, OMA will have the greatest challenge due to the nature of its airports.
“OMA will have the slowest recovery due to the geographic location of its airports. Monterrey, for example, has been affected because it basically served business passengers, who have not returned, and it is expected that they will take the longest to return, “said Marcos.
For now, specialists see a new obstacle to attracting US tourists due to the new measures that will take effect from January 26, and which will require negative COVID-19 tests.
“This will also affect the national tourists who were looking to travel abroadfor business or pleasure,” Herrera concluded.