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.

Weekly Skies

Russia's invasion of Ukraine so far has not dented summer demand for travel between North America and Europe, despite fears soon after Russia's invasion of its neighbor last month that Europe's recovering tourism industry could suffer from the fallout, Air…


Alaska Airlines is speeding up its transition to an all-Boeing fleet with plans to retire the Airbus A321neo aircraft it inherited from Virgin America early. And in unexpected news, it will also retire the De Havilland Dash 8-400s in favor…

Landing Strip

The first flight from Mexico City’s new airport took off on March 21, but whether the new facility can relieve congestion at the capital’s main airport remains to be seen.

Routes and Networks

With no airspace closures to worry about and home populations bursting with pent-up demand, Air New Zealand and Qantas Airways are two for two with new ultra long-haul routes. Air New Zealand will begin its long planned — and delayed…

State of the Unions

Wizz Air and several unions are waging a war in dockets over the Hungarian ULCC’s application to fly to the U.S. It turns out Wizz wants permission for cargo charter flights on an Airbus A330.