Any discussion about the evolution of Latin American aviation ultimately settles on what seem to be insurmountable hurdles of taxation and a general lack of support for the industry by governments in the region. Generally, many governments in Latin America opt for the short view, squeezing fast cash out of airlines for projects that have zero benefit to airlines or aviation in general.
Mexico"™s aviation industry is facing potentially serious jeopardy if the front runner in the country"™s presidential election scheduled for later this year follows through on plans to nix development of Mexico"™s city new airport, which is due to open just two years from now in 2020.
In many ways, for every step forward airlines make in changing the views of Latin American governments on aviation, they take two steps backwards. A proposed new tax on Bogotá"™s passengers, and efforts by Brazil"™s Congress to reimpose restrictions on ancillary fees, show that much runway remains in convincing Latin Governments that aviation is more than a cash cow to fund pet projects.
New Mexico City airport caught in political crosshairs in upcoming election
The leader in Mexico"™s presidential election set for Jul-2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has previously pledged to cancel plans for a new airport under construction to meet demands for current and future passenger throughput.
Chairing a panel at the recent CAPA Americas Summit in Houston, Texas, IATA regional vice president for the Americas Peter Cerdá warned that challenging the need for a new airport "will have tremendous consequences on the country, airlines and the travelling public". Mexico is Latin America"™s second largest aviation market, behind Brazil.
The CEO of the Mexican ULCC Volaris, Enrique Beltranena, explained to attendees that the airport"™s construction had taken on a similar profile as the border wall during the 2016 US presidential election. "We need to be careful in how much we believe, and how much we don"™t believe, in what they can do", he stated…