Mexico has proposed a slot system that deviates from global standards

IATA has called on Mexico to fully apply World Slot Guidelines (WSG) to manage the “precious capacity” at the country’s airports—particularly its Mexico City hub.

WSG ensures airlines can operate their schedules under the same set of rules on all routes in their network.

WSG brings efficiencies that are critical for all airports—especially those with capacity constraints such as Mexico City

However, Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) has recently proposed a slot system that deviates significantly from global standards.

The system includes proposals to:

  • Auction slots off to the highest bidder. IATA argues this could limit competition, preventing less well-established airlines from entering or expanding in the marketplace—limiting competition in this way would also reduce choice for passengers, and potentially increase air fares.

  • Confiscate 10% of existing slots from airlines at congested airports. This will weaken route networks, IATA states, as well as reducing traveler options in terms of frequency and destinations, and financially damaging airlines.

  • Withdraw slots based on punctuality criteria. IATA argues this would undermine the ability of airlines to make long-term commitments, and ignores the competitive and financial incentives airlines have to maintain on-time operations.

  • Impose a “use it or lose it” threshold of 85%. This is inconsistent with the global standard of 80% utilization to retain a slot.

Commenting on the proposals, Peter Cerda, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Americas, said: “The full implementation of WSG is needed to manage the precious capacity at the key Mexico City hub as well as other Mexican airports.

“WSG brings efficiencies that are critical for all airports—especially those with severe capacity constraints such as Mexico City.”