lunes, 17 de julio de 2023

BNAMericas 14 jul 2023 Mexico's new Tulum airport seen as stiff competition for Cancún operator

Mexico's new Tulum airport seen as stiff competition for Cancún operator Written by: Ariel Rodríguez The 3.2bn-peso (US$182mn) international airport that Mexican defense ministry Sedena is building in Tulum, Quintana Roo state, could pose a threat to the business of Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (Asur), which operates the busy Cancún international airport in the same state. Cancún airport “is run under concession by the private sector and [Tulum airport] could take part of the market in the area depending on capacity,” Fernando Gómez Suárez, an aviation analyst and adviser for private sector co-investments in five major airports, told BNamericas. “It is known that Cancún is not the final destination for at least half of the passengers arriving in Cancún, but rather the Riviera Maya, where Tulum airport is located,” he said. The two airports are approximately 130km apart. Asur controls nine airports in Mexico and another two in Colombia and Puerto Rico, but Cancún generates the most revenues. It handled 8.4mn passengers in the first three months of this year, up 20.5% year-on-year, according to the operator’s 1Q23 earnings report. Also known as the Felipe Carrillo Puerto international airport, the Tulum project was unveiled by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador as a solution to decongest the oversaturated Cancún terminal and to complement the 1,500km Maya train. Both the train and airport are scheduled to be ready by year-end. On Monday, the government published a decree to expropriate 1,521ha of land to continue construction of the airport, which reported 44% progress in May. Meanwhile, testing began on the Maya train line at the weekend. Gómez recalled that, much like the Felipe Ángeles international airport (AIFA) that Sedena built at the Santa Lucía military airbase in Mexico state, Tulum airport is being constructed by the armed forces. “There is no participation of private sector parties in the Tulum project,” he said. This airport will be one of those that will be controlled by the armed forces, comprising Sedena and navy ministry Semar, by year end. Military control On June 28, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated that Semar would take control of Benito Juárez international airport (AICM) serving Mexico City, the country’s most important and busiest terminal. The ministry had already been commissioned to handle airport security amidst reports of increasing trafficking of illegal goods, but his new plan is to allow the navy to take over the full operation. Although a decree is yet to be published, this would increase the number of airports controlled by the armed forces to over 10. However, no formal transfer of the terminals from state-owned operator ASA has been signed as yet. According to López Obrador, the plan is to have Sedena control the Tulum and AIFA airports, in addition to Campeche airport in Campeche state, Puebla in Puebla state, Chetumal in Quintana Roo and Nuevo Laredo in Tamaulipas state. Meanwhile, Semar will control AICM, Ciudad del Carmen in Chetumal and Obregón and Guaymas in Sonora state. Daily Milenio also reports that ASA is looking to transfer another three air terminals to the armed forces this year.

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