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Mexico's July traffic data shows full recovery from H1N1

Mexican carriers recorded healthy domestic and international traffic growth in July, indicating a full recovery from the H1N1 flu virus which caused traffic to plummet in the second quarter.

New data from Mexico's DGAC show Mexican carriers flew 2.4 million domestic passengers and 720,000 international passengers in July. Both these figures are by far the highest monthly tallies recorded so far this year.

Traffic figures across Mexico were weak in the first quarter of the year due to the economic downturn and in May plummeted as the swine flu prompted passengers to cancel or postpone trips. In May Mexican carriers had only 1.6 million domestic passengers and 358,000 international passengers.

The market began recovering in June, with 2 million domestic passengers and 488,000 international passengers carried by Mexican carriers.

Mexico's four major carriers - Aeromexico, Mexicana, Interjet and Volaris - all reported healthy growth in July. They benefited from both the return in demand following the swine flu as well as the grounding of Aviacsa, which had been Mexico's fifth largest carrier.

Aviacsa had a 6% share of the domestic market in June but has not operated any flights since its grounding, which now seems to be permanent, in early July.

In July Aeromexico and Aeromexico Connect combined carried 776,000 domestic passengers, up from 672,000 domestic passengers in June. The group now has a 32.4% share of the domestic market.

Grupo Mexicana carried 659,000 domestic passengers, giving it a 27.5% share of the domestic market. This includes traffic at Mexicana mainline, low-cost unit Click and new regional unit Link. The group had 491,000 domestic passengers in June.

Interjet had 316,000 domestic passengers in July, up from 235,000 passengers in June, giving it a 13.2% share of the domestic market. Volaris had 303,000 domestic passengers in July, up from 238,000 passengers in June, giving it a 12.7% share of the domestic market.

A smaller Mexican low-cost carrier, VivaAerobus, had 181,000 domestic passengers in July, up from 137,000 passengers in June. It now has a 7.6% share of the domestic market.

Both Mexicana and Aeromexico also have seen their international businesses, which were hit hard as tourists from overseas stopped vacationing in Mexico during the H1N1 outbreak, fully recovery.

Mexicana mainline had 456,000 international passengers in July, up from 323,000 passengers in June and only 221,000 passengers in May. Aermexico mainline had 202,000 international passengers in July, up from 142,000 in June and only 119,000 in May.

Volaris, which launched its first international flights at the end of June with services to the US, had 31,000 international passengers in July. The largest foreign carriers serving Mexico also have seen their traffic recovery.

American Airlines had 220,000 passengers on their flights to and from Mexico in July, up from 188,000 in June and only 124,000 in May. The second largest carrier serving Mexico, Continental Airlines, had 208,000 international passengers on their flights to and from Mexico in July, up from 155,000 passengers in June and 87,000 passengers in May. These figures exclude flights operated by regional units American Eagle and Continental Express.

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