Volaris and Viva register as 1st airline for next Mexico City airport

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Volaris and Viva Aerobus have confirmed their intention to operate flights from Mexico City’s new international airport, currently under construction at the Santa Lucía military base. Although Viva Aerobus has not yet confirmed which routes it will operate, Volaris is already selling tickets on its first two routes. Let’s investigate further.

Volaris is the first airline to announce routes departing from Felipe Angeles International Airport. Photo: Getty Images.

A new airport, new flights

The Mexican government is currently building the Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA) north of Mexico City. It is renovating a military base and transforming it into a mixed military / civilian hub which will open its doors on March 21, 2022.

Less than six months after its official inauguration, no airline had announced its intention to operate from AIFA. Nonetheless, that has changed this week. Volaris became the first company to announce new routes from this airport.

In a statement, Volaris said:

“Volaris today announced its decision to launch commercial operations from Felipe Angeles International Airport, effective March 21, 2022. The cities Volaris will serve from this new airport are Tijuana (TIJ) and Cancun (CUN), each with a daily flight. Tickets are available now.

Prior to Volaris’ announcement, other carriers had expressed interest in operating out of IAAF, but no flights were confirmed. Airlines planning to use this new hub include Venezuelan Conviasa and Mexican regional carriers Aeromar and TAR.

A day later, Viva Aerobus confirmed that it would also be launching flights from AIFA. Airline CEO Juan Carlos Zuazua said:

“We worked in close collaboration with the Secretariat of National Defense (the government entity that builds the airport) and closely monitor the development of the airport and airspace. In the next few days, they will publish the operating tariffs for commercial flights and, as soon as it is available, we will be able to establish our services. But yes, we will fly from AIFA, the inland routes. “

Both carriers will also continue to serve Mexico City International Airport.

AIFA
The Mexican military is currently building the new airport. Here is a brief overview of Terminal 1. Photo: Daniel Martínez Garbuno | Simple theft

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Who will use the new AIFA?

The construction of the IAAF has become a political tool in Mexico. The flying public is deeply divided between those who support and hate the construction of this airport. Keep in mind that the current Mexican government has abandoned a different project to build this particular hub.

Nonetheless, commercial airlines in Mexico believe there is an area of ​​opportunity in AIFA. Volaris CEO Enrique Beltranena said:

“We think the AIFA itself has a market around the airport and is roughly the same size as other cities like Aguascalientes and Querétaro, for example. (around 4.8 million potential customers). We therefore see virtues in themselves in the population around the airport and the likelihood of doing business with this population.

However, the new airport does not have the ground infrastructure to easily connect to Mexico City. While a new urban transportation system and highways are being built, they are unlikely to be ready in time for the airport’s grand opening.

Volaris and Viva register as 1st airline for next Mexico City airport
Viva Aerobus will also fly from Felipe Angeles International Airport. Photo: Guillermo Quiroz Martínez via @gquimar.

Who will not use the new AIFA?

Several airlines have already said they will not fly from Felipe Angeles International Airport. Most of them continue to see Mexico City International Airport as the hub of the metropolis.

Airlines that have refused to operate at IAAF include Air Canada, American Airlines and Copa Airlines. More specifically, Aeromexico plans to strengthen its position at Mexico City International Airport instead.

For example, Aeromexico announced today that it will move some domestic operations from Mexico City Terminal 2 to Terminal 1. If it is too early to determine what the future of IAIFA will be, it will most likely become a point airport. point rather than a real hub.

What do you think of the Volaris routes? Would you be interested in a flight from Felipe Angeles International Airport? Let us know in the comments below.

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