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Mexico mandates increased tariffs for non-government airport operators, pressuring them to pay more.

Mexico Raises Tariffs for Non-Government Airport Operators

New Tariffs to Boost Revenue by $140 Million

Mexico has announced a significant increase in tariffs paid by non-government airport operators, a move aimed at reforming the industry and generating an additional $140 million annually. The new tariff rate of 9% of gross revenue represents a nearly double increase from the previous rate of 5%. This adjustment is expected to impact airport operators such as OMA, GAP, and ASUR, which collectively reported around $3.5 billion in revenue last year.

Shares of Airport Operators Decline

After the announcement of the new tariff rates, shares of Mexican airport operators experienced a decline. GAP and ASUR saw a decrease of approximately 2%, while OMA’s shares dropped by 0.2%. These companies had previously suffered a significant decline in share prices on October 5th when news of the tariff changes first emerged.

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OMA operates more than a dozen airports in Mexico, with the largest one located in Monterrey. GAP operates 12 airports, including Guadalajara, while ASUR controls nine airports, including Cancun. It is important to note that Mexico City International Airport, the largest in the country, is exempt from the higher tariffs as it is under the control of the Mexican navy.

Immediate Implementation and Evaluation

OMA and GAP have stated that the higher tariffs will be effective immediately. However, GAP has specified that it will take effect from January 1, 2025, due to a pre-existing agreement. ASUR, on the other hand, is currently evaluating the impact of the new policy. The transportation ministry declined to comment on the impact of the higher tariffs.

Government Assurance and Opposition Concerns

The government assures that these tariff adjustments will not negatively affect the financial health of the airport operators. However, analysts and opposition politicians argue that the increased costs will likely impact the operators’ bottom lines. These adjustments come after Mexico’s lower house passed a reform that includes the tariff hike and the creation of two funds to allocate tax revenues to airport bodies controlled by Mexico’s armed forces.

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Military Involvement in Aviation

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been critical of private airport operators and airlines, increasingly entrusting civilian aviation duties to the military. He has highlighted the lower costs associated with military-run airports and has announced the upcoming launch of Mexicana, a military-run airline that aims to offer lower fares compared to other commercial carriers.

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