ASUR airport group: Passenger traffic down 58.6% in September

ASUR airport group: Passenger traffic down 58.6% in September

Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, S.A.B. de C.V. (ASUR), an international airport group with operations in Mexico, the U.S. and Colombia, today announced that total passenger traffic for September 2020 decreased 58.6% when compared to September 2019. Passenger traffic decreased 48.7% in Mexico, 47.9% in Puerto Rico and 86.2% in Colombia, impacted by severe downturns in business and leisure travel stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This announcement reflects comparisons between September 1 through September 30, 2020 and from September 1 through September 30, 2019. Transit and general aviation passengers are excluded for Mexico and Colombia.

Passenger Traffic Summary
September % Chg Year to date % Chg
2019 2020 2019 2020
Mexico 2,219,687 1,139,377 (48.7) 25,783,861 11,548,726 (55.2)
Domestic Traffic 1,288,816 820,718 (36.3) 12,367,374 6,133,129 (50.4)
International Traffic 930,871 318,659 (65.8) 13,416,487 5,415,597 (59.6)
San Juan, Puerto Rico 571,010 297,505 (47.9) 7,072,180 3,505,793 (50.4)
Domestic Traffic 513,775 288,157 (43.9) 6,315,138 3,265,711 (48.3)
International Traffic 57,235 9,348 (83.7) 757,042 240,082 (68.3)
Colombia 1,013,803 140,005 (86.2) 8,807,551 2,821,728 (68.0)
Domestic Traffic 866,614 132,278 (84.7) 7,457,666 2,411,973 (67.7)
International Traffic 147,189 7,727 (94.8) 1,349,885 409,755 (69.6)
Total Traffic 3,804,500 1,576,887 (58.6) 41,663,592 17,876,247 (57.1)
Domestic Traffic 2,669,205 1,241,153 (53.5) 26,140,178 11,810,813 (54.8)
International Traffic 1,135,295 335,734 (70.4) 15,523,414 6,065,434 (60.9)

Since March 16, 2020, various governments have issued flight restrictions for different regions of the world to limit the breakout of the COVID-19 virus. With respect to the airports ASUR operates:

As announced on March 23, 2020, neither Mexico nor Puerto Rico have issued flight bans, to date. In Puerto Rico, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has accepted a request from the Governor of Puerto Rico that all flights bound to Puerto Rico land at LMM Airport, which is operated by ASUR’s subsidiary Aerostar, and that all arriving passengers be screened by representatives of the Puerto Rico Health Department. On March 30, 2020, the Governor of Puerto Rico, through an executive order of indefinite term, imposed a two-week quarantine on all passengers arriving at the LMM Airport. Therefore, LMM Airport remains open and operating, albeit with substantially reduced flight and passenger volumes.

To further strengthen health controls on arrival, starting July 15, the Governor of Puerto Rico began implementing the following additional measures. All passengers must wear a mask, complete a mandatory flight declaration form from the Puerto Rico Health Department, and submit negative results of a PCR molecular COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to arrival to avoid having to undergo the two-week quarantine. Passengers can also opt to take the COVID-19 test in Puerto Rico (not necessarily at the airport), in order to be released from quarantine (estimated to take between 24-48 hours).

In Colombia, all incoming international flights, including connecting flights in Colombia, were suspended by the Colombian government starting March 23, 2020. This suspension has been extended through August 31, 2020, with exceptions for humanitarian emergencies, transportation of cargo and goods, and fortuitous events or force majeure. Similarly, domestic air travel in Colombia was suspended starting March 25, 2020. Consequently, ASUR’s commercial aviation operations at the Enrique Olaya Herrera de Medellín, José María Córdova de Rionegro, Los Garzones de Montería, Antonio Roldán Betancourt de Carepa, El Caraño de Quibdó and Las Brujas de Corozal airports were suspended starting as of such dates.

The Colombian government allowed domestic flights to resume on July 1, 2020, starting with pilot tests for domestic routes between cities with low levels of contagion. The Colombian government has delegated to municipal administrations the power to request approval from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Transport and Aerocivil (the aeronautical authority in Colombia) to resume domestic flights from or to their municipalities. As a result, both municipalities involved would be required to agree in order to restart such domestic flights.

In full compliance with the implementation of biosafety protocols contained in Resolution 1054 issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Colombia in 2020, the airports José María Córdova in Rionegro, Olaya Herrera in Medellin and Los Garzones in Monteria, have restarted commercial passenger flights beginning September 1, 2020 within the initial phase of gradual connectivity announced by the civil aeronautical authorities of Colombia. In addition, Carepa and Quibdó airports resumed operations on September 21, while Corozal airport restarted operations on October 2, 2020.