Airports and Airlines
After the big announcement that Mexico City is to have a new airport, designed by none other than Norman Foster, it was interesting going through the airport last weekend, to and from Los Angeles.
I flew Aeromexico both ways and so used Terminal 2, which is where all the AM flights arrive and leave from. Terminal 2 was built in 2007 by Francisco Serrano Architects and was designed to help relieve the overburden of passengers and flights in what is now known as Terminal 1, i.e. the original airport. It’s very modern and white and won prizes for its architecture but has a few issues right now as it seems to be sinking. Or rather the land around it is sinking, there is no danger but things aren’t as healthy as they might be. I noticed that this terminal is already getting tatty. Half the loos weren’t working and half the sinks had no water when I came through this last weekend. The signs were confusing and trying to find the exit was complicated, I had to ask someone which way to go when it really should be obvious. The immigration hall seems to be more efficient than in Terminal 1 but that’s a people thing, not a building thing. The actual terminal just seems to be tatty and now that the new airport will be built I wonder if it will be deliberately let go. We shall see.
Since the demise of what used to be the flag-bearing airline for Mexico, Mexicana, Aeromexico has taken its place. It prides itself on punctuality which is a totally unmexican trait and most of the time they are indeed on time. Apart from Aeromexico we have various low budget airlines, just like in Europe, most notably Volaris (whose name and corporate identity we did!), Interjet and Aeromar, who fly all over the country, as well as to the southern part of the US. Airports are indeed a necessity and we even have one in Cuernavaca although no flights actually operate out of it… That’s another story but if we wanted to talk about governments spending money stupidly we wouldn’t have to look far.
Mexico City is a huge hub for flights but it is not the most profitable airport in Mexico. It turns out that Los Cabos airport is. It’s not of a comparable size but it’s obviously managed well and is therefore much more profitable. It’s the entry point for thousands of tourists looking to enjoy Baja California, principally from the US and Canada but also from Europe and beyond. It’s been in the news this week as Hurricane Odile smacked into the tip of Baja and laid waste to Los Cabos and San José de los Cabos. The damage has been terrible and people are having trouble getting food and water, emotions are running high. So much so that there have been groups of people ransacking shops and buildings, even hooded and armed groups, and so the army and marine has been sent in to control things. As for those on holiday their only concern is getting out and since the airport was damaged it’s taking time to get people out.
There's another hurricane hovering off the coast up near Los Cabos again. Fingers crossed Polo doesn't do any more damage, the poor people are suffering enough already...