Passenger numbers at the Mexico City airport are slowly recovering after plunging more than 90% during Mexico’s coronavirus lockdown period, but still remain well below 2019 levels.
A total of 1.34 million national and international passengers passed through the Benito Juárez International Airport in August, according to its operators.
It was the third consecutive month that passenger numbers rose but they were still 70% below the level recorded in August 2019.
In February, some 3.82 million passengers used the Mexico City airport, a 9% increase compared to the same month last year but numbers dropped to 2.67 million in March, a 35% annual reduction.
In April, the first full month of the national social distancing initiative, only 300,000 passengers used the airport, a 93% decline compared to the same month last year. Numbers fell to 280,000 in May, a 94% year-over-year drop.
Passenger numbers rose to 560,000 in June, the month in which federally-mandated coronavirus restrictions were replaced by rules that applied on a state by state basis, and just exceeded 1 million in July. But despite the growth those figures represented annual declines of 87% and 78%, respectively.
Passenger numbers in August rose about 30% compared to July, giving airlines and other businesses that depend on travelers cause for muted celebration.
Mexico City airport operators said the busiest day last month was August 21 when 49,795 travelers passed through the facility. More than 80% of people who used the airport last month were domestic travelers.
Aeroméxico, the national flag carrier, increased flights between Mexico City and the cities of Cancún, Mérida, Durango, Los Mochis, Chihuahua and Culiacán in August. It also reopened the route between the Mexican capital and Quito, Ecuador, as well as those to the U.S. cities of Las Vegas, Denver and San Francisco.
In addition, Aeroméxico increased the frequency of flights to Miami, Paris and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
But no matter how many extra flights are added in the final months of the year and how many passengers resume air travel, 2020 is certain to go down as a year the airline industry and airport operators would prefer to forget.
In the first eight months, a total of just over 14.2 million passengers passed through the Mexico City airport, a 57.4% decrease compared to the same period of 2019.
Source: El Economista (sp)