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Mexico: Air Transportation
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Transportation and Communications > Air Transportation


Mexico's air transportation system is generally considered adequate to handle projected levels of passenger and freight traffic through the end of the 1990s. In 1994 Mexico had a total of 1,585 operational airfields or airstrips, of which 202 had permanent-surface runways. Forty-four international and thirty-eight domestic airports offer services to all major Mexican cities. Mexico's principal airport and main air transportation hub is Benito Juárez International Airport, on the outskirts of Mexico City. Other major airports at Monterrey, Guadalajara, Mérida, and Cancún also handle large volumes of air traffic.

Air transport services consist overwhelmingly of passenger travel, with air freight representing only 0.03 percent by weight of total cargo transported by all modes in 1994. Mexico's proximity and extensive overland and maritime links to the United States, its main trading partner, account in large measure for the relatively light use of aircraft to transport freight.

In 1992 Mexico had seventy-seven domestic airlines, of which two, Aeronaves de México (Aeroméxico) and Mexican Aviation Company (Compañía Mexicana de Aviación -- Mexicana), had international stature. Aeroméxico was sold to private investors in June 1989 after it had declared bankruptcy. Widely known in the past as "Aeromaybe" because of unreliable service, Aeroméxico has maintained consistent on-time performance since its privatization. Also in 1989, the government sold half of its 51 percent stake in Mexicana to private investors.

In 1993 Mexican aircraft flew a total of 325 million kilometers and carried 20 million passengers. Mexico has direct air connections, through Mexicana and Aeroméxico, with the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and the rest of Latin America. In 1994 twenty-eight international airlines provided regularly scheduled service from Mexico City to major cities in Europe, Japan, the United States, and the rest of Latin America. In addition, a variety of foreign and domestic air charter services flew directly to the country's major resort areas.

Data as of June 1996

Last Updated: June 1996

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Mexico was first published in 1996. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 128 of 213


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