Issue No. 856
Runway to Nowhere?
A Controversial New Mexico City Airport Opens
Pushing Back: Inside The Issue
Mexico City finally got a new airport! It's just not the one most had hoped for. No, that $13 billion, Norman Foster-designed airport became a political football. Instead, the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the military put their bets on the new Felipe Angeles, on an old military base in Santa Lucia. Will it be the reliever Benito Juarez International Airport needs? Airlines are not convinced. The 25-gate, three-runway facility opened with just eight domestic flights and one international flight — Conviasa to Caracas.
Meanwhile, will this summer bet the hot vaxxed one everyone expected last year? Airlines seem to think so and are racing to add routes to leisure destinations. The industry in Europe, North and South America, and increasingly in Australasia, is moving toward what they view a new phase of the pandemic. Travel restrictions, mask mandates, and vaccine requirements are falling everywhere, with the exception of Asia. But even there, Singapore, which had some of the most stringent restrictions, has begun to relax its rules. Elsewhere in the region, the Omicron variant is raging, and China remains essentially closed.
The pandemic may be receding, but the largest land war in Europe since World War II grinds on. Airlines are adjusting to the longer flight times closed Russian airspace requires. Oil prices continue to be volatile, but appear to be settling at around $110 per barrel. Air France said that, despite being largely hedged, it will start to raise ticket prices to offset the higher costs. Predicting where oil prices will end up or whether prices have stabilized, though, is a fool's errand.