Mexico City's airport is profitable and functional

A study from 2016 contradicts claims made by the current government and investors
Mexico City's airport is profitable and functional
Mexico City's International Airport - Photo: Miguel Espinosa/EL UNIVERSAL
08/11/2018
13:06
Noé Cruz Serrano
Mexico City
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In September 2016, the federal government received an economic and financial evaluation of the current Mexico City airport. The study explains that Mexico City's International Airport (AICM) can operate until 2022 when it will reach its maximum capacity, and on a lower scale in the following years.

The study, carried out by Inver-Planning Consultores, verified “the high economic potential of the Benito Juárez airport, which manifests its capacity to generate profits because even if it has been compromised since 2005, its main profit, Departure tax, which has been used to finance the Texcoco airport, has shown a stable behavior in regards to its financial situation, with the solvency and liquidity needed to face its obligations.”

According to the study obtained by EL UNIVERSAL, the current airport could generate, in a base scenario, up to MXN $265,456 million if it operates in the next 14 years.

This amount, the transfer of rights of the Departure tax and the payment of usage to the Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT), would add MXN $169,895 million, that would be destined to the construction of the Texcoco airport.

To cover the payroll, materials, general services, and other expenses, they would have MXN $70,848 million for this period, an average of MXN $5,060 millions per year.

It was estimated that in the incoming years, it would maintain the solvency and liquidity levels because “the possibility to require returns of the transferred Departure tax prevails, therefore, the obstacles to fulfill the Investment Program, considered in the Master Development Plan 2017-2021 do not prevail.”

The AICM's administration, the study adds, “has the capacity to make decisions about its cash inflows, that would allow it to maintain the right amount of money in each activity.”

Saturation without risk

The study adds that the high economic potential of the AICM is evident “its only obstacle is the fact that it's currently reaching the limits of the maximum capacity, estimating that the maximum operating capacity is reached in 2022 when it registers a limit of 485,000 operations each year.”

“This situation doesn't endanger the financial stability and solvency of the AICM, even when it would continue to operate the airport in the current facilities, because with the expected profits in saturation conditions, there would be enough solvency to preserve the existing airport infrastructure and face the cost commitments to keep the airport running.”

It adds that: “Even in this case, it's expected that a flow of passengers continues in small increases in the years after 2022, due to an optimization of the passengers' occupancy rate, we expect that more passengers are carried in each flight.”

The demand forecasts refer that in 2022 when the airport reaches its operating limits in 2022, it would be serving 31 million national passengers and 15.4 million international passengers.

The documents indicate that until September 2016, when the study was carried out, the collection rights of the Departure tax had been assigned to Nafin, through a guaranty trust, in order to repay the USD $1000 million loan.

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