Mexican Aviation's Takeoff Could Hit Turbulence Amid U.S. Recession Fears

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Mexico's COVID-battered aviation sector has benefitted from a robust reactivation of travel, but analysts fear its takeoff could be soon shaken by recession in the United States, Reuters reported. Profits of air terminal operators in Mexico's most important tourist destinations grew strongly last quarter, thanks to solid traffic numbers for both domestic and international passengers. "Aviation has had a surprising recovery," said Pablo Casas, director of the National Institute of Aeronautical Legal Research (INIJA). "The long (pandemic) confinement led to this build up of travellers," he said. Asur, which manages the airport for the Caribbean coastal city of Cancun, doubled its earnings during the second quarter from the year-ago-period. Meanwhile, GAP, which operates the air facility serving the booming resort area of Los Cabos, saw its second-quarter net profit soar 64%. Terminal operator OMA, more focused on business travellers with its main airfield in the industrial city of Monterrey, was not far behind, with net profit jumping 49% in the quarter. In 2020, when most travel was suspended due to COVID, some 48.4 million travellers took flights in Mexico. But after just the first five months of this year, tourism officials have recorded 41.6 million air passengers already. Still, the recovery could be stifled. Of the more than eight million international visitors arriving in Mexico by air in the January-May period, 67% were residents of the United States, where a recent fall in gross domestic product has raised fears of recession. Read more.