peter-cerda-2015.pngDear Colleagues,

As we head into the fall, we continue to see the resilience and resurgence of the airline industry in the Americas as outlined in IATA’s latest Quarterly Air Transport Chartbook. In Q2 2023, airlines in North America and Latin America grew their total RPKs by 13.5% and 16.6% YoY, respectively. With continued strong performance, the Americas region has maintained its lead in restoring and surpassing pre-pandemic levels of passenger traffic. 

However, many Governments across the region continue to create a difficult environment for airlines to operate in. The most challenging situation occurred in Mexico over the past two weeks, where the government issued a decree to announce a further reduction of capacity to from 52 to 43 operations per hour at Mexico City’s International Airport (MEX). The proposed cuts follow previous flight caps (61 to 52) at the airport last year, as the government justified the reduction due to alleged airspace constraints. 

IATA and airlines believe the root problem at the airport is not the number of operations, but rather the deteriorating infrastructure, which requires urgent intervention but does not require the reduction of capacity. In addition, the new capacity cap is seen as another attempt by the Government to force airlines to move more operations to NLU. 

IATA immediately responded by issuing a press release in English and Spanish, and started engaging various media outlets to publicly reject and challenge the Mexican Government's decision. We highlighted that this unilateral decision does not take into account the interests of consumers, nor does it respect the necessary consultative process with operators and users. In addition, we questioned the methodology used by SENEAM, AFAC and AICM to determine airport capacity. 

Following the industry pushback, the Government formally announced that the reductions will not apply to international operators and will not be effective until January 8, 2024 instead of the initially discussed October 29, 2023 implementation date. While these are positive changes to the initial proposal, we will continue to push against the reduction in its entirety. If the Government insists and a reduction is forced upon the domestic carriers, we will still push for 6 months lead time to prepare for the reduction with an implementation date of March 2024, coinciding with the Northern Summer 2024 season.

Further North, our members continue to face immigrations staffing limitations at key airports in the US. To address the bottlenecks caused by these staffing shortages, we have formed a coalition with ACI North America and continue to urge CBP to review and adjust their staffing levels as needed while asking Congress for additional support to alleviate staffing shortages for next year and adjust the budget allocation accordingly.

To conclude, we will hold the last Aviation Day of 2023 in San Jose, Costa Rica on September 19, focused on air transport’s important socio-economic role in the country, and bringing together industry experts and government authorities to analyze the opportunities of the sector in Costa Rica. 

As usual, please find IATA’s most recent activities across the Americas below. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for further actions. Thank you for your on-going support. 

Best regards,

Peter Cerdá

IATA’s Regional Vice President, The Americas

‚ÄčAmericas Focus: Archive

2023: 01-2023 (pdf) 02-2023 (pdf) 03-2023 (pdf) 04-2023 (pdf) 05-2023 (pdf) 06-2023 (pdf)

2022: 01-2022 (pdf) 02-2022 (pdf) 03-22 (pdf) 04-22 (pdf) 05-22 (pdf) 06-22 (pdf)

2021: 01-2021 (pdf) 02-2021 (pdf) 03-2021 (pdf) 04-2021 (pdf) 05-2021 (pdf) 06-2021 (pdf) 07-2021 (pdf)

2020: 01-2020 (pdf) 02-2020 (pdf) 03-2020 (pdf)

2019: Jan 2019 (pdf) Feb 2019 (pdf) May 2019 (pdf) #04 Version (pdf) #05 Version (pdf) #06 Version (pdf)
2018: Jan 2018 (pdf) Feb 2018 (pdf) Mar 2018 (pdf) Apr 2018 (pdf) May 2018 (pdf) Jun 2018 (pdf)
Jul 2018 (pdf) Aug-Sep 2018 (pdf) Oct-Nov 2018 (pdf) Summary 2018 (pdf)
2017: Q4 2017 (pdf) Q3 2017 (pdf) Q2 2017 (pdf) Q1 2017 (pdf)