Quintana Roo airports need more slots at the Mexico City airport to ensure that flights to the Caribbean coast state meet demand, the state’s tourism secretary says.
Marisol Vanegas Pérez said that the Cozumel and Chetumal airports require three to five slots from Mexico City to guarantee adequate connectivity.
Saturation of runways at the capital’s Benito Juárez Airport has prevented the addition of new routes to the two Quintana Roo destinations, she said.
“For us, a new airport in Mexico City is a good idea so that more slots to destinations in Quintana Roo are created. Cancún has a lot of flights because it’s highly profitable for airlines but we have two international airports that can’t receive [additional] flights from Mexico City because there are no slots available . . . What Quintana Roo needs are slots, so that the whole state benefits,” Vanegas said.
She questioned the democratic process of the recent consultation on the future of the new Mexico City International Airport, in which people voted overwhelmingly in favor of converting the Santa Lucía Air Force Base instead of continuing with the current project.
For his part, Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín González said he anticipates a lot of controversy about the cancellation of the airport project because it is still unclear what will happen to money already invested in the project.
“I think it’s a complicated decision, I don’t know if it has been taken definitively. I know that the [airport] poll put us in this situation but I don’t know how it’s going to end up . . . Obviously, there will be a huge controversy about it. What will happen with the resources already invested? Will some of them be recovered?”
The governor also reiterated Vanegas’s position on the need for additional airport slots in Mexico City for Quintana Roo-bound flights.
“It’s very important for us that the Mexico City airport works, that there are more spaces that allow us to have a greater number of flights to Cozumel and Chetumal, for example . . .” Joaquín said.
“What we want the most is to have a very functional airport that allows us to have the possibilities that Quintana Roo deserves.”
Businesss leaders in the state reacted negatively to the decision by incoming president López Obrador to cancel the airport project. The state vice-president of the Business Coordinating Council observed that the Santa Lucía base is “very far” from Mexico City and predicted consequences for international connections.
Miguel Ángel Lemus Mateos also said that for tourism “it’s a disaster.”