Yesterday, Aeromexico Cargo launched a new route between Mexico City International Airport and Wuhan-Tianhe International Airport in China. The unprecedented and uncontested route aims to take advantage of the economic boom that Wuhan has had in the last few years. Let’s investigate further.
Aeromexico’s focus on cargo
Like many other airlines around the world, Aeromexico has seen a surge in cargo revenues. This segment has given the airline a niche opportunity to use its long-haul fleet. For instance, during 2021’s first quarter, Aeromexico had revenue of 1,150 billion pesos (US$58 million). That’s a 14% increase compared to one year ago.
China plays a key role in this market. Since the start of the pandemic, Aeromexico Cargo has made more than 235 cargo-only flights between China, Mexico, and 16 other countries. The airline has carried more than four thousand tons of medical goods, according to the airline. With that in mind, Aeromexico is now officially launching its Mexico City-Wuhan route.
During the last year, the Mexican carrier has also operated a few eye-opening routes. For instance, almost a year ago, it ran its longest flight ever, connecting Shenzhen, China, and Mexico City nonstop.
Alejandro Méndez, senior vicepresident for Aeromexico Cargo, said,
“Wuhan represents an extraordinary opportunity for the transportation of goods between both countries. We will offer our clients more and better options for efficient and safe transport of their products.”
Wuhan, an uncontested market
Aeromexico may be onto something. According to the Cirium database, there’s currently no connection (cargo or passenger) between Latin America and Wuhan, China. Aeromexico will serve as the only carrier making an airbridge.
Wuhan is one of the cities with the biggest growth rate in China. It has become a hub for air transportation in central China. Moreover, Wuhan has become a hub for e-commerce, medical and tech products; its market has grown more than 500% in the last year alone. Following last year’s total shutdown, Wuhan has had a strong economic bounceback.
Aeromexico will use its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet for its Mexico City-Wuhan connection. The carrier currently has ten 787-9 and expects to receive four more. Aeromexico can carry more than 30 tons of cargo on this type of aircraft.
What’s been going on lately with Aeromexico?
The Mexican carrier continues its Chapter 11 financial reorganization. On April 23, Aeromexico cut its order for new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by half while also increasing its 787 Dreamliner deliveries. Therefore, Aeromexico will take 24 737 MAX aircraft and four more Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the next few years.
Capacity-wise, Aeromexico continues to struggle. While low-cost competitors Viva Aerobus and Volaris already are carrying more passengers than its pre-pandemic levels, Aeromexico is a little bit behind.
In April, Aeromexico transported 1.204 million passengers, a 28.6% decrease compared to 2019. Domestically, the Mexican carrier was only 10.6% below its pre-pandemic travelers’ levels. Internationally, though, it remains at -59.3% due to heavy travel restrictions in many markets it serves.
Between January and April, Aeromexico has carried 4,38 million passengers. That’s a 0.7% increase compared to 2020, but still, a 36.6% decrease compared to the first four months of 2019.
What do you think about Aeromexico’s cargo efforts? Let us know in the comments.