During the largest forum of the airline industry in the region, the CEO of Aeromexico, Copa, Avianca and LATAM considered it unfeasible to operate in three airports in Mexico City.
Brasilia, Brazil When talking about a future operation at three airports in Mexico City, the heads of four of the largest airlines in Latin America are emphatic: it will be difficult, and they were not very open to it since it would mean sacrificing one of their greatest assets, the of connectivity.
During the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum, the largest forum of the airline industry in the region, one of the first questions was for Andrés Conesa, CEO of Aeromexico, about the viability of the airport project in St. Lucia, with a position that did not yield to what the company has said on previous occasions.
“Aeromexico – like many here – has a network model. We need to operate at a single airport. It makes no sense to operate in two so close: changing passengers, jumping 15 kilometers and segmenting operations raises costs. For a low-cost airline, it might make sense to have your base at another airport, but for us, it is key and fundamental to operate in a hub that is competitive with other connection centers such as Miami, Dallas, Panama, Bogotá. ”
Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines, closed ranks with Conesa’s stance. “We will not operate in three airports, but in one, and it will be where Aeromexico is because connectivity and interline relationships are important. Not all of our passengers who arrive in Mexico City go there, they go to other cities, large and small. ”
Heilbron explained that the airport that has the greatest facilities in terms of connectivity and costs will result in increased traffic to its airlines and their partners. “If you are alone you can ignore these things, but it is not reality.”
For Enrique Cueto, CEO of LATAM Airlines, there is even less clarity about the airport project in Mexico City. “It is difficult to understand what (the president) wants to do, therefore it is difficult to understand what he wants to hear. The best example is Argentina: airports are part of the drama, having separate operations and flights to the country is a disaster, domestic and internal operations are divided. The industry does not understand what is happening and is serious. ”
Anko Van der Werff, CEO of Avianca, pointed out that there are few examples of an airport system operating with a scheme of three interconnected infrastructures. “Probably, in the world, there are no examples where dividing demand is a good option. For me it doesn’t work in Argentina or in Milan; We have a commercial agreement with Aeromexico, it is an opportunity perhaps not a loss, but to divide the demand only to the best in airports like Heathrow, in London, and New York. But the conditions are very different there, ”he stressed.
“It is an industry and technical issue. There is only one way to do things, and unfortunately it is not what is being taken as a decision to do, ”Cueto concluded.
The Mazatlan Post