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Airline lobby calls for Mexico City flight cuts to be postponed further

MEXICO CITY, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Mexican authorities should postpone planned flight cuts out of the capital airport until the summer 2024 season, which begins in March, an international group that represents major airlines said on Thursday.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement to Reuters that it opposed the cuts, but stipulated that if they must happen, they should begin in March, not in January as currently scheduled, to “allow airlines time to adjust schedules.”

The government announced the flight cuts at the end of August, sparking an outcry from the aviation sector. The measure would limit flights per hour to 43, from 52 at the Mexico City International Airport to reduce airspace saturation and divert more traffic to the newer, state-run Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA).

The cuts were originally set for November, but were postponed to January after protests from airlines.

“The airlines already had tickets sold (for the holiday season),” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a press conference this month.

IATA stressed airlines’ need to plan ahead.

“If a reduction is forced on the industry, this needs to be done in consultation and with sufficient lead time,” it said.

Lopez Obrador has criticized operations at the busy Mexico City International Airport and said there is “no pretext” for carriers to not move flights to AIFA, which is farther from the capital and provides fewer ground transportation options.

Since the cuts were announced, airlines Aeromexico and Viva Aerobus have said they will boost flights out of AIFA.

Reporting by Kylie Madry; Editing by David Alire Garcia, Sarah Morland and Josie Kao


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Kylie Madry is a headline news reporter covering business, politics and breaking news for all of Latin America. She’s based out of the Reuters office in Mexico City, where she was previously a freelance journalist and translator working on award-winning podcasts, books about Mexico’s drug lords and stories ranging from the fight for clean water to the millions spent on the city’s surveillance system. Kylie is originally from Dallas, Texas.


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