Starting on January 1, 2023, flying from Mexico City International Airport (MEX) will be more expensive, as the government will increase the airport use fee (known as TUA in Spanish, Tarifa de Uso Aeroportuario) paid by all travelers. This will undoubtedly raise fares in the country.
How much was the TUA raised in Mexico City?
In 2023, the airport use fee for domestic flights at Mexico City International Airport will be $28.04 and $53.24 USD for international flights. These amounts represent a 7.7% increase compared to the current year. It is also the biggest increase to date under President Andres Manuel López Obrador’s term, who first came into office in 2018.
The TUA varies from airport to airport; Mexico City International’s is among the highest. For instance, Cancun’s airport fee for domestic travel is $11.92, and for international is $31.90 USD. Mexico City’s new Felipe Ángeles International Airport TUA is $13.91 for domestic trips and $34.43 for international ones, according to the latest data available.
The airport fee sometimes represents up to 60% of the fare. Take, for example, an Aeromexico fare to travel between MEX and Puerto Vallarta (PVR) between January 11 and 14. The overall cost of the flight is 1,719 Mexican pesos (around $89), of which 1,187 Mexican pesos are fees ($61.11, 69% of the fare).
Who pays the TUA?
Almost every passenger is obliged to pay the airport fee in Mexico. There are only three types of passengers that are exempted from paying the TUA, according to the government. These passengers are:
- People under two years old
- Foreign diplomats and representatives, as long as there is reciprocity from the other country
- Passengers transiting or connecting through Mexican airports.
The airlines are obliged to collect the airport fee. Therefore, if the flight is canceled for any reason, the carriers must return the unused airport fee to the passenger, which is something that not all travelers are aware of. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has repeatedly said that hiking taxes and tariffs in Latin America are hurting the industry more than benefiting the countries.
How many passengers flew through MEX from January to November 2022?
Mexico City International Airport remains the top gateway in the country. According to data from Mexico’s Infrastructure, Communications, and Transport Secretariat (SICT), MEX received 41.9 million travelers between January and November 2022, still below the pre-pandemic levels. In the same period in 2019, the airport received nearly 46 million travelers. MEX receives 27.9% of all the passengers that fly in and out of Mexico. Cancun is the second, with an 18.2% market share.
Source: Forbes Mexico