Alejo6
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TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:11 pm

Toluca International Airport (TLC), is located in Toluca, a city located some 60 Km away from Mexico DF, the capital city and most populated city of Mexico, also the second biggest city in America, after NYC. It has the longest runway in Mexico (4200 m), more than MEX (3985 m).

It was conceived as a way to relieve MEX, Mexico's and Latin America's busiest airport by passenger traffic and aircraft movements.

Nonetheless, it has no international flights, as the recently launched Conviasa's flight from CCS makes a stopover in CUN, which makes it also a domestic route. Only one cargo flight (FedEx), coming from Memphis, accounts as the only international flight, but not passenger oriented.

There is a shuttle service intended to start in 2022 that would increase its relevance, as it would allow to connect TLC with DF, which is the primary destination for most travelers coming to this area. It had 4 terminals, which have been reduced to 2 due to low traffic. The airport is capable of managing 6 M pax/yr.

Major blows to this airport were Volaris, a low cost Mexican carrier, switching its hub from TLC to Guadalajara back in 2011. Also Interjet, another Mexican low-cost carrier moved the bulk of their operations to MEX. It went from 4.3 M pax in 2008 to 691k in 2018 according to sources (-84%). This gives a load factor of 12%.

Has TLC become a white elephant? Perhaps our fellow Mexican airliners can shed some light on this matter.
Cheers! AP
 
concordeforever
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:40 pm

It is a huge executive jet base for the capital, much the same as Luton for London, Tetorboro for New York, Van Nuys for Los Angeles, etc, with around 80% of the countries 700+ biz jets based there. It was like this long before Volaris moved in and out again. There are many, many hangars for parking and maintenance of said aircraft so it's not always about Airliners. Granted it is/was used as a reliever for the main airport but with the demise of Mexicana the demand went away. It is an International airport in the respect that a lot of those corporate flights are not just flying domestically.
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:54 pm

concordeforever wrote:
It is a huge executive jet base for the capital, much the same as Luton for London, Tetorboro for New York, Van Nuys for Los Angeles, etc, with around 80% of the countries 700+ biz jets based there. It was like this long before Volaris moved in and out again. There are many, many hangars for parking and maintenance of said aircraft so it's not always about Airliners. Granted it is/was used as a reliever for the main airport but with the demise of Mexicana the demand went away. It is an International airport in the respect that a lot of those corporate flights are not just flying domestically.


I understand that, thanks for the clarification.

Nonetheless, going from 4M pax 12 years ago to less than 700k nowadays seems like a major blow in terms of how to mantain such a big airport.

My undestanding is that it's the first Mexican airport with an ILS CAT II/IIIA approximation system.

Wonder how they will amortize all that expenditure only with private flights.

In any case, this seems like an extremely oversized airport for its current use, as pax figures should account also for those coming from private flights.

AP
 
Adipocere
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:54 pm

United Express used to fly into TLC from IAH a decade ago. I remember Mexican customs and immigration desk being a makeshift setup in a large room. I didn’t think then that airport was setup infrastructure wise to be a reliever to MEX, or any other major airport.
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:26 pm

Adipocere wrote:
United Express used to fly into TLC from IAH a decade ago. I remember Mexican customs and immigration desk being a makeshift setup in a large room. I didn’t think then that airport was setup infrastructure wise to be a reliever to MEX, or any other major airport.


That's what I mean, it seems like an overkill to have such a big airport to run it at about 10% of its capacity.

Also it looks like an epic fail not to have the low cost carriers, like Volaris and Interjet, flying to and from there, when that's basicaly the main goal of a low-cost, to fly to secondary airports in order to lower costs due to lower fees and taxes and therefore being able to compete against legacy carriers such as Aeromexico.

Looks like someone missed the spot when negotiating contracts and conditions with such airlines, thus losing them to other airports like MEX and GDL.

The only "international" pax flight nowadays is a Conviasa EMB190 with a technical stop at CUN. Fares are ludicrous (+750 USD CCS-CUN and about 1000 USD CCS-TLC). Those are long haul fares. It's cheaper to go from CCS to say, FCO via CDG with Air France than to go CUN, not to talk TLC with V0. That route won't stand alone for long with such ridiculously inflated fares. Being Venezuela a country in mayhem, I doubt that many Mexicans would dear to come here at that price.

Cheers!
AP
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:47 pm

Charge enough and being a GA airport works fine. Airports don’t have to airline airports.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:16 pm

Alejo6 wrote:
Also it looks like an epic fail not to have the low cost carriers, like Volaris and Interjet, flying to and from there, when that's basicaly the main goal of a low-cost, to fly to secondary airports in order to lower costs due to lower fees and taxes and therefore being able to compete against legacy carriers such as Aeromexico.

Looks like someone missed the spot when negotiating contracts and conditions with such airlines, thus losing them to other airports like MEX and GDL.


Throwing completely personal 2 cents.

But what makes you think TLC didn't try to attract carriers? Perhaps the like of Interjet and Volaris did the math and realized that even though operating out of MEX is probably more expensive, they can fill those planes a lot easier and thus, easier to make money to offset whatever cost difference?

Seriously, not everyone can be Ryanair. And quite frankly, Ryanair model only work in certain markets. And even then, even Ryanair is moving to primary airports nowaday instead of going all-in on secondary airports.
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:39 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Charge enough and being a GA airport works fine. Airports don’t have to airline airports.


Again, I don't have anything against TLC being a private, small aircraft run model.

All I'm saying is, having the largest runway in all of Mexico, a country with 130M people (let's not forget that), and the most advanced aproximation system in the country, with four terminals of which only two are being used, to operate at one tenth of its capacity, seems like a whole lot of waste to me.

If they want to use the main landstrip to do drag races, and that works financialy for them, it's fine. But that doesn't make the fact that the airport's mission, as it was conceived, was completely missed, and that it is operating well below its installed capacity go away, either you want to face it or not.

You can have a 10-store building, and rent only the first floor, charging 10-fold the price market. If someone is willing to pay and you make a profit, or at least cover costs, that's fine. But still, the building is underutilized.

Let's try not to cover one thing with the other in order to try to win the argument, shall we?
Cheers,
AP
 
drdisque
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:42 pm

You're forgetting something:

When TLC was big Mexicana was still around occupying nearly half the MEX slots. Volaris, Interjet (which was tiny and brand new at the time), Viva Aerobus, and AVIACSA had to use TLC because they didn't have enough MEX slots to serve everywhere they wanted to serve. Then Mexicana (and Aviacsa) went under and Volaris, Interjet, and VivaAerobus all got a critical mass of slots at MEX and moved the majority of their operation there.

The UA flight was intended to serve the Chrysler Toluca Assembly plant and GM Toluca Engine plant in Toluca. When CO was in SkyTeam this worked as most of those airlines had contracts with NW and so the spend on CO counted against their NW contract and the auto employees earned NW miles flying directly to TLC. When it switched to Star Alliance I suspect most employees flying from DTW to the Toluca plants started flying to MEX on DL instead.
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:47 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
Alejo6 wrote:
Also it looks like an epic fail not to have the low cost carriers, like Volaris and Interjet, flying to and from there, when that's basicaly the main goal of a low-cost, to fly to secondary airports in order to lower costs due to lower fees and taxes and therefore being able to compete against legacy carriers such as Aeromexico.

Looks like someone missed the spot when negotiating contracts and conditions with such airlines, thus losing them to other airports like MEX and GDL.


Throwing completely personal 2 cents.

But what makes you think TLC didn't try to attract carriers? Perhaps the like of Interjet and Volaris did the math and realized that even though operating out of MEX is probably more expensive, they can fill those planes a lot easier and thus, easier to make money to offset whatever cost difference?

Seriously, not everyone can be Ryanair. And quite frankly, Ryanair model only work in certain markets. And even then, even Ryanair is moving to primary airports nowaday instead of going all-in on secondary airports.

I'm not saying that they didn't try. I'm just saying that they failed at trying, misserably. One key thing to the airport was the ability to connect with DF in a somewhat easy fashion. Not having that conmuter ready, but only until 2022 shows you that somebody missed the spot big time. Other secondary airports have easier ways to get to the main city, which makes them more appealing in return for travelers. The major blow was 9 years ago. They had time to react, which they didn't.
Last edited by Alejo6 on Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:47 pm

What’s an “approximation system”? Never heard of it.

GF
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:50 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
What’s an “approximation system”? Never heard of it.

GF


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrument_landing_system

AP
 
santi319
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:51 pm

The reality is far from fetched. Traffic in Mexico City is insane and unless you are northwest of the city it makes no sense to use this airport at all and thats the truth.

No one in the main parts of Mexico City will attempt to use TLC and waste 2-4 hours of their lifes for a 2 hour flight. The ubers are expensive and there is no direct public transportation.

I dont understand people calling it an alternative to MEX..

Yes maybe on a Sunday at 4pm...

Other than that.. no
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:54 pm

drdisque wrote:
You're forgetting something:

When TLC was big Mexicana was still around occupying nearly half the MEX slots. Volaris, Interjet (which was tiny and brand new at the time), Viva Aerobus, and AVIACSA had to use TLC because they didn't have enough MEX slots to serve everywhere they wanted to serve. Then Mexicana (and Aviacsa) went under and Volaris, Interjet, and VivaAerobus all got a critical mass of slots at MEX and moved the majority of their operation there.

The UA flight was intended to serve the Chrysler Toluca Assembly plant and GM Toluca Engine plant in Toluca. When CO was in SkyTeam this worked as most of those airlines had contracts with NW and so the spend on CO counted against their NW contract and the auto employees earned NW miles flying directly to TLC. When it switched to Star Alliance I suspect most employees flying from DTW to the Toluca plants started flying to MEX on DL instead.


Thanks for this insightful input, which helps explaining the downfall of TLC as a major relieve gauge for MEX.

My commentary goes directed to, they had 9 years since most of the traffic started to divert to other hubs like MEX and GDL.

Almost a decade seems like an awful amount of time to react and come with a plan to mitigate and turn the situation around.
AP
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:59 pm

santi319 wrote:
The reality is far from fetched. Traffic in Mexico City is insane and unless you are northwest of the city it makes no sense to use this airport at all and thats the truth.

No one in the main parts of Mexico City will attempt to use TLC and waste 2-4 hours of their lifes for a 2 hour flight. The ubers are expensive and there is no direct public transportation.

I dont understand people calling it an alternative to MEX..

Yes maybe on a Sunday at 4pm...

Other than that.. no


That's when the shuttle express service should kick in in order to alleviate this situation, addressing this to overcome the barriers to choose TLC instead of MEX.
Nonetheless, it's expected to be built by 2022, more than a decade after the major downfall happened.
I can't believe that a shuttle service takes more than an airport to be built.
AP
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:03 pm

Alejo6 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
What’s an “approximation system”? Never heard of it.

GF


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrument_landing_system

AP


That’s an ILS, considering the scatter for CAT III systems, hardly approximate.

GF
 
MIflyer12
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:10 pm

Alejo6 wrote:
concordeforever wrote:
It is a huge executive jet base for the capital, much the same as Luton for London, Tetorboro for New York, Van Nuys for Los Angeles, etc, with around 80% of the countries 700+ biz jets based there. It was like this long before Volaris moved in and out again. There are many, many hangars for parking and maintenance of said aircraft so it's not always about Airliners. Granted it is/was used as a reliever for the main airport but with the demise of Mexicana the demand went away. It is an International airport in the respect that a lot of those corporate flights are not just flying domestically.


I understand that, thanks for the clarification.

Nonetheless, going from 4M pax 12 years ago to less than 700k nowadays seems like a major blow in terms of how to mantain such a big airport.

My undestanding is that it's the first Mexican airport with an ILS CAT II/IIIA approximation system.

Wonder how they will amortize all that expenditure only with private flights.

In any case, this seems like an extremely oversized airport for its current use, as pax figures should account also for those coming from private flights.

AP


Google 'stranded assets' or 'impaired assets'. When you figure out how to make an airport smaller and with a lower capital cost after it's already been constructed, do let us know. (Bankruptcy filings don't count.)
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:13 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Alejo6 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
What’s an “approximation system”? Never heard of it.

GF


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrument_landing_system

AP


That’s an ILS, considering the scatter for CAT III systems, hardly approximate.

GF


Thanks for clarification. Now, can we get back to the main issue?

Cheers!
AP
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:19 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:

Google 'stranded assets' or 'impaired assets'. When you figure out how to make an airport smaller and with a lower capital cost after it's already been constructed, do let us know. (Bankruptcy filings don't count.)


My point is, what is TLC board of directors doing to reverse this situation?

Attracting a Conviasa flight in-route from Cancún seems like a poor show to me.

I'm sure that there are things that can be done in order to reverse, or at least mitigate/alleviate the damage caused by Volaris and Interjet fleeing from TLC.

The express shuttle construction would make TLC more attractive for travelers to go there instead of MEX if the price was right, as it would compensate for the added conmuting time/fare.

However, 9 years after the two main low-cost carriers in Mexico left, nothing of this was done, and nothing will be done until at least two more years. There is something called reaction speed. Obviously these people don't have it.
 
e38
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:34 pm

Nobody has mentioned TAESA.

It was my understanding that TAESA invested considerable amounts of money into Toluca to develop it as a hub (as an alternative to Mexico City) in the early 1990s and also constructed some hangars there in order to serve as their primary maintenance facility.

Not factual; just what I have heard previously about TAESA's structure.

e38
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:46 pm

e38 wrote:
Nobody has mentioned TAESA.

It was my understanding that TAESA invested considerable amounts of money into Toluca to develop it as a hub (as an alternative to Mexico City) in the early 1990s and also constructed some hangars there in order to serve as their primary maintenance facility.

Not factual; just what I have heard previously about TAESA's structure.

e38


I'm sure that many factors affected TLC to make it go from about 4M pax/yr to less than 700k.

That includes many airlines going into bankruptcy like TAESA or Mexicana, the first for its many accidents and incidents that raised serious questions about their airworthiness and their right to keep flying Mexican skies.

The key question is, what is TLC's management doing to address this ongoing situation over the last decade?
AP
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:51 pm

e38 wrote:
Nobody has mentioned TAESA.

It was my understanding that TAESA invested considerable amounts of money into Toluca to develop it as a hub (as an alternative to Mexico City) in the early 1990s and also constructed some hangars there in order to serve as their primary maintenance facility.

Not factual; just what I have heard previously about TAESA's structure.

e38


I'm sure that many factors affected TLC to make it go from about 4M pax/yr to less than 700k.

That includes many airlines going into bankruptcy like TAESA or Mexicana, the first for its many accidents and incidents that raised serious questions about their airworthiness and their right to keep flying Mexican skies.

The key question is, what is TLC's management doing to address this ongoing situation over the last decade?
AP
 
CMA727
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:53 pm

The problem at TLC is:

1. With todays extremely low air fares at MEX, it is not attractive worthless for Valley of Mexico air travellers to make the long, expensive and dangeours road trip to TLC, therefore we have here a problem with passenger demand and access.

2. TLC elevation and lack of passanger demand makes it very difficult for airlines to make money there, therefore, we have a problem of profitability.

3. TLC is O&D, MEX allows airlines to enjoy connecting traffic.

The moment it gets easier to reach TLC, the moment passengers, specially those originating or going to western areas of the Valley of Mexico will want to use it again; that´s when airlines will justify new services.

I am afraid that for the time being,, other than a few poliitically oriented flights such as Conviasa´s and maybe a few new Volaris, Interjet or Vivaaerobus flights will be added and,TLC commercial terminal facilities will remain underused.

Nevertheless, it will remain a very good airport for GA.

My two cents...
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:33 pm

CMA727 wrote:
The problem at TLC is:

1. With todays extremely low air fares at MEX, it is not attractive worthless for Valley of Mexico air travellers to make the long, expensive and dangeours road trip to TLC, therefore we have here a problem with passenger demand and access.

2. TLC elevation and lack of passanger demand makes it very difficult for airlines to make money there, therefore, we have a problem of profitability.

3. TLC is O&D, MEX allows airlines to enjoy connecting traffic.

The moment it gets easier to reach TLC, the moment passengers, specially those originating or going to western areas of the Valley of Mexico will want to use it again; that´s when airlines will justify new services.

I am afraid that for the time being,, other than a few poliitically oriented flights such as Conviasa´s and maybe a few new Volaris, Interjet or Vivaaerobus flights will be added and,TLC commercial terminal facilities will remain underused.

Nevertheless, it will remain a very good airport for GA.

My two cents...

Thanks for pointing out main issues of TLC.
There is a saying, the only thing without solution is dead. My guess is, there are solutions for these issues. But they need political will in order to be adressed.
In order to make TLC a hub that fosters many airlines and a connecting network worth flying, action needs to be taken. Who will do it, that is the question.
Other than that, anything will change if nothing is done.
Those are the basic rules of management, and they work around the world pretty much from centuries ago.
Kudos to those who accomplish this task. Otherwise, we may be witnessing the writeoff and ulterior dismantling of this airport in the near future to build a park or a football stadium.
My two cents.
AP
 
WPvsMW
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:18 pm

Aerotropolis. You asked what the BOD could do. Without HSR from city center to the TLC terminals, the only growth strategy is freight, not pax.
TLC:MEX as ITO:HNL, but TLC has a significant advantage over ITO, as shown by the GA use. Traffic that is not commercial pax will use TLC. It's a weird comparison, but GA ops are more like cargo ops than pax ops.
 
2travel2know2
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:44 pm

Seems that TLC is more convenient to some of Mexico newest up-scale areas, so why that critical mass hasn't push international airlines like UA for IAH, AA for DFW, B6 for FLL and CM for PTY to offer some kind of service, even if weekend oriented or a few days per week from its hubs to TLC?
One of the reasons FLL has becoming popular as an alternate to MIA is that there's a passenger base closer to FLL than MIA who'd prefer FLL over MIA.
Is it that far-fetched to compare TLC potential passengers to FLL ?
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:53 pm

2travel2know2 wrote:
Seems that TLC is more convenient to some of Mexico newest up-scale areas, so why that critical mass hasn't push international airlines like UA for IAH, AA for DFW, B6 for FLL and CM for PTY to offer some kind of service, even if weekend oriented or a few days per week from its hubs to TLC?
One of the reasons FLL has becoming popular as an alternate to MIA is that there's a passenger base closer to FLL than MIA who'd prefer FLL over MIA.
Is it that far-fetched to compare TLC potential passengers to FLL ?

Actually, Toluca, where the airport is located (therefor its acronym), has +700k inhabitants, so it's a city with a life of its own.
Comparing to FLL, which population is less than 200k ppl, TLC has a potential surrounding market of about 4x FLL.
Surprisingly enough, TLC is a dead man walking in terms of passenger aviation, while FLL is thriving with passengers from the Caribbean, South America and beyond.
No surprise, the Tri-Rail can take you from FLL to MIA in a very cheap fashion for some twenty minutes I guess? I myself have taken the Tri-Rail from MIA to FLL, actually I have my card with me.
I think that you nailed with your comment. A crucial part of a secondary airport success depends on the ability of connecting the suburb with the main city. FLL does it, TLC fails big time at it.
The other piece of the puzzle is to provide better fares than the main airport (MIA/MEX in this case)
You deserve yourself a prize for solving the mistery.
Kudos to you!
AP
 
ScottB
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:53 pm

Alejo6 wrote:
Actually, Toluca, where the airport is located (therefor its acronym), has +700k inhabitants, so it's a city with a life of its own.
Comparing to FLL, which population is less than 200k ppl, TLC has a potential surrounding market of about 4x FLL.
Surprisingly enough, TLC is a dead man walking in terms of passenger aviation, while FLL is thriving with passengers from the Caribbean, South America and beyond.
No surprise, the Tri-Rail can take you from FLL to MIA in a very cheap fashion for some twenty minutes I guess? I myself have taken the Tri-Rail from MIA to FLL, actually I have my card with me.
I think that you nailed with your comment. A crucial part of a secondary airport success depends on the ability of connecting the suburb with the main city. FLL does it, TLC fails big time at it.
The other piece of the puzzle is to provide better fares than the main airport (MIA/MEX in this case)


Rail is not responsible for the success of FLL. Few people use Tri-Rail to access FLL. FLL is successful because it is well-connected to the region's road infrastructure and because it is a cost-effective alternative to MIA which has long been dominated by a single high-fare carrier. The population of the City of Fort Lauderdale is immaterial; the airport's primary catchment area is Broward County which has a population of just under two million. FLL also draws from northern Miami-Dade County as well as southern Palm Beach County; though PBI is far more pleasant to use than FLL, the more comprehensive service at FLL draws plenty of potential PBI passengers.

Alejo6 wrote:
That's when the shuttle express service should kick in in order to alleviate this situation, addressing this to overcome the barriers to choose TLC instead of MEX.
Nonetheless, it's expected to be built by 2022, more than a decade after the major downfall happened.
I can't believe that a shuttle service takes more than an airport to be built.


You do realize that the rail line is designed to shuttle commuters, not to draw traffic to TLC airport? Airport access is a side benefit but not the reason for this project. And it's easily believable that a 50+km rail line, passing through populated areas and also traversing a mountain range would be more expensive than an airport built on farmland.

A commuter rail line isn't going to shift the balance meaningfully. Getting to TLC via transit will require, for most, a ride on the metro to Observatorio, transferring to the commuter rail line, and then transferring to a bus to the airport. That's terribly inconvenient, especially with luggage, and even more so when one considers MEX is maybe 5 or 6 km from the Zocalo.
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:26 pm

ScottB wrote:

Rail is not responsible for the success of FLL. Few people use Tri-Rail to access FLL. FLL is successful because it is well-connected to the region's road infrastructure and because it is a cost-effective alternative to MIA which has long been dominated by a single high-fare carrier. The population of the City of Fort Lauderdale is immaterial; the airport's primary catchment area is Broward County which has a population of just under two million. FLL also draws from northern Miami-Dade County as well as southern Palm Beach County; though PBI is far more pleasant to use than FLL, the more comprehensive service at FLL draws plenty of potential PBI passengers.

You do realize that the rail line is designed to shuttle commuters, not to draw traffic to TLC airport? Airport access is a side benefit but not the reason for this project. And it's easily believable that a 50+km rail line, passing through populated areas and also traversing a mountain range would be more expensive than an airport built on farmland.

A commuter rail line isn't going to shift the balance meaningfully. Getting to TLC via transit will require, for most, a ride on the metro to Observatorio, transferring to the commuter rail line, and then transferring to a bus to the airport. That's terribly inconvenient, especially with luggage, and even more so when one considers MEX is maybe 5 or 6 km from the Zocalo.

So, according to you, TLC is doomed as a passenger airport. Its only chance to stay relevant is to become a GA and cross fingers that the fares imposed to those who use it are enough to keep it running.
I wonder how if the main limitation to TLC is its distance to DF, a massive, cheap, fast conmuter between the two wouldn't fix the problem. CDG is far from Paris. 25 km away, to be exact. Yet, it has a train that takes you there (not cheap btw).
I wonder why TLC was built in the first place, having the longest runway in the whole México, with state-of-the-art approximation systems, if in the end, it was more than obvious that would fail misserably its purpose and would end as a subused, GA airport at 10% capacity.
Makes you wonder, ain't?
 
georgiabill
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:42 pm

Alejo6 Nice topic and some very interesting info shared on this subject. Would you be interested in perhaps starting an Mexican aviation thread devoted to smaller commercial airports.like ACA,GDL,HMO,LAP MTY,TIJ and JAL. It might be interesting to follow their growth and developement.
 
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LAXintl
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:54 pm

Only last month the CEO of Volaris Enrique Beltranena when discussing Mexico City airport situation in the IATA internal newsletter stated/;

"Secondary airports like Toluca cannot be considered as suitable alternatives for the metropolitan area due its location and high cost, so we had to develop a strategy outside of Mexico City. Our planning for 2019-2026 was made on not achieving major changes to the airport situation in the capital city."

Volaris for long period tried all types of flying at TLC, but clearly it was not financially viable.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
ScottB
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:08 am

Alejo6 wrote:
So, according to you, TLC is doomed as a passenger airport. Its only chance to stay relevant is to become a GA and cross fingers that the fares imposed to those who use it are enough to keep it running.
I wonder how if the main limitation to TLC is its distance to DF, a massive, cheap, fast conmuter between the two wouldn't fix the problem. CDG is far from Paris. 25 km away, to be exact. Yet, it has a train that takes you there (not cheap btw).
I wonder why TLC was built in the first place, having the longest runway in the whole México, with state-of-the-art approximation systems, if in the end, it was more than obvious that would fail misserably its purpose and would end as a subused, GA airport at 10% capacity.
Makes you wonder, ain't?


I wouldn't say it is doomed, per se, but it's unlikely to grow significantly in the next several years. MEX has enough competition that passengers in the DF don't have to hike out to Toluca to get a reasonable fare... for now. If the new MEX project hadn't been cancelled, I would say that there would be little need for TLC apart from serving the local market of Toluca and its immediate surroundings. With the bizarre plan of using Santa Lucia as a reliever for MEX, I could see TLC regaining service from low-fare carriers if they're unable to expand at MEX -- the new airport at Santa Lucia will probably be just as inconvenient as TLC, if not more so.

CDG is different in so many ways. Paris is a far wealthier market in a wealthier country. ORY and/or LBG would be inadequate for handling the demand for air travel to/from Paris, let alone functioning as a large connecting hub like CDG. And the government worked to make CDG the primary airport for the city and nation as well. MEX is the primary airport for both Mexico City and the nation. CDG is well-connected to the autoroute system; TLC is sort of near an expensive toll road which just gets you to the western fringes of Mexico City.

The better analogy for TLC is probably SWF.
 
lx2iah
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:57 am

Don’t forget that Spirit used to fly to TLC from IAH, DFW, and FLL around the 2011-2014/15? time-frame. Not sure which routes were “seasonal” and which were “daily/weekly.” These routes were dropped sometime around 2015-16.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/todayint ... /19040599/

https://centreforaviation.com/analysis/ ... orth-77243

https://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news ... -mexico-c/

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/other-n ... exico.html
 
rabader
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:41 am

Alejo6 wrote:
It was conceived as a way to relieve MEX, Mexico's and Latin America's busiest airport by passenger traffic and aircraft movements.


This is just plainly wrong. Toluca is a medium-sized city in Mexico and the capital of a state. The airport was built to serve Toluca and later they have tried to use it as an alternate airport.

What are the problems with Toluca. For starters altitude, TLC is at 8750 ft, for example DEN is at 5280 ft. Second, weather, TLC is very prone to have airport closures for fog-related problems. And third, and I think most important, TLC is not convenient for people, MEX is located pretty much at the centroid of the population of Mexico City and its Metro Area.

2travel2know2 wrote:
Seems that TLC is more convenient to some of Mexico newest up-scale areas, so why that critical mass hasn't push international airlines like UA for IAH, AA for DFW, B6 for FLL and CM for PTY to offer some kind of service, even if weekend oriented or a few days per week from its hubs to TLC?


This is not entirely true. Santa Fe the center of the new up-scale areas is 50 km away from TLC airport, a 45-60 minutes drive, not entirely convenient. On the other hand, MEX is only 15 km away and travel times can go from 30 to 75 minutes.
 
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janders
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:01 am

Pretty clear many airlines have tried TLC, but the money obviously is not there to sustain the flying long term. Like it or not the traffic and money is at MEX.
"We make war that we may live in peace." -- Aristotle
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:27 am

rabader wrote:

This is just plainly wrong. Toluca is a medium-sized city in Mexico and the capital of a state. The airport was built to serve Toluca and later they have tried to use it as an alternate airport.

What are the problems with Toluca. For starters altitude, TLC is at 8750 ft, for example DEN is at 5280 ft. Second, weather, TLC is very prone to have airport closures for fog-related problems. And third, and I think most important, TLC is not convenient for people, MEX is located pretty much at the centroid of the population of Mexico City and its Metro Area.


Sure, that's why they made the biggest runway in Mexico and installed top of the line aprox system. To serve a small city of less than a million inhabitants. Later they realized that it could work as a secondary hub.

So the 4 terminals that could cater up to 6M people a year was to serve a 700k ppl area which travelers are mostly O&D, with Toluca being a city with little or no touristic interest except for those who live there. And then, they realized all the other problems of TLC (namely altitude, weather and distance from DF), once they tried to make it a SH. That all makes lots of sense. Except for one thing. TLC did manage to handle an excess of 4 M tourists in 2008, so it worked at a +70% LF, showing that it can be work at higher rates than present when proper conditions are given, and not the lame 270k that it got from Jan to Nov 2019 (4.5% yield).
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:29 am

janders wrote:
Pretty clear many airlines have tried TLC, but the money obviously is not there to sustain the flying long term. Like it or not the traffic and money is at MEX.


What do you propose? Scrap the old TLC or be happy with it operating at a small fraction of its true capacity?

It's like having a Ford GT40 doing 10 mph on the highway... such a waste of time and money...

AP
 
cledaybuck
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:40 am

It’s what happens when you go chasing waterfalls.
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
rabader
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:45 am

Alejo6 wrote:
That all makes lots of sense. Except for one thing. TLC did manage to handle an excess of 4 M tourists in 2008, so it worked at a +70% LF, showing that it can be work at higher rates than present when proper conditions are given, and not the lame 270k that it got from Jan to Nov 2019 (4.5% yield).


In Mexico, they had two flag carriers that dominated the market Aeromexico and Mexicana. Mexico City and the metro area account for 25% of Mexico population and 30% of GDP, huge market. For many years MEX has been a slot controlled airport, so when Volaris (2004) and Interjet (2005) started flying the only way to catch the Mexico City demand was flying from TLC. They bottom out prices and Mexicana closes out (2010). Once the MEX slots became available both airlines completely move operations to MEX because the center of demand is there. Plain and simple. In fact, the newest ULCC Viva Aerobus didn't even bother to operate in TLC, they went directly to MEX.

Why the TLC airport has a long runway, I share this wikipedia link that explains the negative effects of high-altitude in engines

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_and_high
Last edited by rabader on Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:59 am

rabader wrote:
In Mexico, they had two flag carriers that dominated the market Aeromexico and Mexicana. Mexico City and the metro area account for 25% of Mexico population and 30% of GDP, huge market. For many years MEX has been a slot controlled airport, so when Volaris (2004) and Interjet (2005) started flying the only way to catch the Mexico City demand was flying from TLC. They bottom out prices and Mexicana closes out (2010). Once the MEX slots became available both airlines completely move operations to MEX because the center of demand is there. Plain and simple. In fact, the newest ULCC Viva Aerobus didn't even bother to operate in TLC, they went directly to MEX.

Why the TLC airport has a long runway, I share this wikipedia link that explains the negative effects of high-altitude in engines

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_and_high

Ok, the situation that you are depicting is like having four Cars, but only having enough money to mantain one.
You can hold the other three cars in order to see if one day you wake up rich and all of the sudden you can afford to have all four. Problem is, if you wait long enough, cars will depreciate, and once you try to start the engine it won't start. So you either sell one, lease other and give away the third one, or you will have to scrap the three of them soon enough. Either way this is a call for action. Assets do depreciate. Sitting on them won't make the problem to go away.
Regards,
AP
 
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mercure1
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:27 am

Alejo6 wrote:
Except for one thing. TLC did manage to handle an excess of 4 M tourists in 2008, so it worked at a +70% LF, showing that it can be work at higher rates than present when proper conditions are given, and not the lame 270k that it got from Jan to Nov 2019 (4.5% yield).


You miss the entire point.

Airlines obviously did not make money at TLC to make it worthwhile, so they cut the flying. Even 100% LF does not mean profit.

There are hundreds of airports around the world that have facilities which are under utilized. At the end like other have mentioned airlines go where the money is and in the Mexico City metropolis regardless of the problems with MEX that is where airlines seek to be.
mercure f-wtcc
 
rabader
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:25 am

Alejo6 wrote:
Ok, the situation that you are depicting is like having four Cars, but only having enough money to mantain one.
You can hold the other three cars in order to see if one day you wake up rich and all of the sudden you can afford to have all four. Problem is, if you wait long enough, cars will depreciate, and once you try to start the engine it won't start. So you either sell one, lease other and give away the third one, or you will have to scrap the three of them soon enough. Either way this is a call for action. Assets do depreciate. Sitting on them won't make the problem to go away.
Regards,
AP


Sorry but I didn’t understand the analogy
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:15 am

mercure1 wrote:
Alejo6 wrote:
Except for one thing. TLC did manage to handle an excess of 4 M tourists in 2008, so it worked at a +70% LF, showing that it can be work at higher rates than present when proper conditions are given, and not the lame 270k that it got from Jan to Nov 2019 (4.5% yield).


You miss the entire point.

Airlines obviously did not make money at TLC to make it worthwhile, so they cut the flying. Even 100% LF does not mean profit.

There are hundreds of airports around the world that have facilities which are under utilized. At the end like other have mentioned airlines go where the money is and in the Mexico City metropolis regardless of the problems with MEX that is where airlines seek to be.


Ok, so one way or the other, the airport is underused. Not a little underused. BIG TIME underused.

There is an evolutionist, named Charles Darwin, who said "use it or lose it". Eventually TLC will lose part or the whole of its operation due to lousy occupancy yield.
AP
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:22 am

rabader wrote:
Alejo6 wrote:
Ok, the situation that you are depicting is like having four Cars, but only having enough money to mantain one.
You can hold the other three cars in order to see if one day you wake up rich and all of the sudden you can afford to have all four. Problem is, if you wait long enough, cars will depreciate, and once you try to start the engine it won't start. So you either sell one, lease other and give away the third one, or you will have to scrap the three of them soon enough. Either way this is a call for action. Assets do depreciate. Sitting on them won't make the problem to go away.
Regards,
AP


Sorry but I didn’t understand the analogy

TLC is like a 20-store building, of which only one floor is being occupied. Everybody seems OK about this, for the sake of aviation and airlines.
They forget something: an airport (as well as an airline), is before all, a company, and as every company it has to turn profit. Else, they will go out of business.
Also they forget that many times airports (and airlines in some cases) are somehow, state-run or dependent, so if an airport doesn't make profit, the State could cover for them for a limited amount of time. Nonetheless, if they lose money for a long time, the State could end selling the airport (or airline) to the higest bidder, for him to do whatever he wants with the assets.
If you have a 20 floor building with only one floor being occupied, and you feel fine about it, good for you. But eventually somebody will come and buy you the building to do soemthing else with it.
 
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janders
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:35 am

But reality TLC is not a 20 story building with only 1 floor occupied.

As of June 2019 it was the 5th busiest airport in Mexico per Statista with near 100,000 annual movements. It’s the general and business aviation center of the country along with meaningful cargo operations.
"We make war that we may live in peace." -- Aristotle
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:03 pm

janders wrote:
But reality TLC is not a 20 story building with only 1 floor occupied.

As of June 2019 it was the 5th busiest airport in Mexico per Statista with near 100,000 annual movements. It’s the general and business aviation center of the country along with meaningful cargo operations.


Where are you getting these figures? According to this, is the #27 airport of Mexico by passenger traffic in 2018 (last full year with stats already available): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_t ... _in_Mexico
It was built to handle 6M pax, so ok, it's not a 1 out of 20 occupied building, but a one out of 10. I doubt that this changed significantly in 2019.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:51 pm

Alejo6 wrote:
janders wrote:
But reality TLC is not a 20 story building with only 1 floor occupied.

As of June 2019 it was the 5th busiest airport in Mexico per Statista with near 100,000 annual movements. It’s the general and business aviation center of the country along with meaningful cargo operations.


Where are you getting these figures? According to this, is the #27 airport of Mexico by passenger traffic in 2018 (last full year with stats already available): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_t ... _in_Mexico
It was built to handle 6M pax, so ok, it's not a 1 out of 20 occupied building, but a one out of 10. I doubt that this changed significantly in 2019.


Aircraft movement =/= total amount of passenger.

Yes, TLC doesn't have many pax passing through, but it doesn't mean the airport just seat empty as planes like private jet or cargo plane take off/land at the airport all the time.

For analogy using building, specifically, some shopping center.
MEX = A 10-story high-end shopping center, always full of people.
TLC = A 10-story former outlet center, the outlet part downsized to only the first 2 floors. However, the other 8 floors are not empty, but rather occupied by things like commercial offices, educational spaces, warehouses, etc. Those tenants of the other 8 floors still pay rent, though. The rent per square foot for a commercial office maybe lower than a shopping center, but it's not like those 8 floors are boarded up, either.

GA and cargo traffic are still air traffic. Passenger services is not the end all for an airport, period.
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:59 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
Alejo6 wrote:
janders wrote:
But reality TLC is not a 20 story building with only 1 floor occupied.

As of June 2019 it was the 5th busiest airport in Mexico per Statista with near 100,000 annual movements. It’s the general and business aviation center of the country along with meaningful cargo operations.


Where are you getting these figures? According to this, is the #27 airport of Mexico by passenger traffic in 2018 (last full year with stats already available): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_t ... _in_Mexico
It was built to handle 6M pax, so ok, it's not a 1 out of 20 occupied building, but a one out of 10. I doubt that this changed significantly in 2019.


Aircraft movement =/= total amount of passenger.

Yes, TLC doesn't have many pax passing through, but it doesn't mean the airport just seat empty as planes like private jet or cargo plane take off/land at the airport all the time.

For analogy using building, specifically, some shopping center.
MEX = A 10-story high-end shopping center, always full of people.
TLC = A 10-story former outlet center, the outlet part downsized to only the first 2 floors. However, the other 8 floors are not empty, but rather occupied by things like commercial offices, educational spaces, warehouses, etc. Those tenants of the other 8 floors still pay rent, though. The rent per square foot for a commercial office maybe lower than a shopping center, but it's not like those 8 floors are boarded up, either.
GA and cargo traffic are still air traffic. Passenger services is not the end all for an airport, period.

Ok, so for the same of the argument, let's add that the two floors that are lended to shopping stores, who are the ones that pay the highest rent as they handle VOLUME, are declining in sales for almost a decade. If they continue to decay at the current rate, they will be neglectable in the years to come, and will have to close. That means that the building's owner of this somewhat big, expensive building to run, will have to charge more to the offices, etc. that are in the floors above in order to keep the operation feasible. Else he will have to accept to breakeven or even lose some money to keep the building open.
I understand the importance of GA and cargo ops, but let's face it, commercial (i.e. pax) aviation is the soul and heart of any airport that is not militar in nature. Period.
 
EddieDude
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:51 pm

On paper, Toluca looks great:

+Not too far from the wealthy west of the city (not just the northwest like someone mentioned, but the entire westside thanks to the tollroad that connects Periférico Sur with Santa Fe).
+The drive from Santa Fe to TLC is mostly on a highway, so even if it may get busy sometimes, it can totally take way more time to drive from the westside to MEX than to TLC on a bad traffic day.
+Long runway.
+Plenty of space for infrastructure.

The thing is that if you can choose your flights ex-MEX at a time of the day when you will not encounter so much traffic, it makes way more sense to commute to MEX than to TLC, even from neighborhoods in the west such as Lomas, Polanco, Tecamachalco, etc. and in the southwest like Pedregal, San Jerónimo, etc.

There are many other negatives (from the pax perspective, not necessarily from the airlines' perspective):

-No high speed public transportation from Mexico City to TLC.
-You can take the freeway, but for inhabitants of a metro area so large who always are in a hurry, it makes more sense to take tollroads, and tolls are pricey.
-Do you want to drive to TLC, park your car there (more money) and then drive back when you return from your trip? It seems an unnecessary hassle.
-Ubers and "Caminante" taxis are super expensive between TLC and Mexico City.
-Shuttle buses/vanettes between Mexico City and TLC have a limited number of seats, probably don't have super flexible schedules, and have very specific pick-up and drop-off points that may be very inconvenient to many people.
-Fares ex-MEX can be super cheap on the likes of Viva and Volaris. If you could be sure that flying TLC-XXX-TLC is going to be notoriously cheaper than MEX-XXX-MEX even after adding the cost of transporting yourself, your companions, and your bags to TLC and back, then maybe TLC could be an option, but that is so not the case.

Mexico City and its catchment area have been doomed to have a deficient and miserable airport infrastructure as a result of the cancellation of the new MEX that was going to be constructed in Texcoco, not too far away from the current MEX. No matter how much TLC is enlarged, pimped and beautified, it is very unlikely that it will become a suitable alternative if no high-speed train is built. Santa Lucía? No thanks. I have absolutely no interest in driving, Ubering or otherwise getting to such a far away place surrounded by sketchy favelas and suburbs.
Upcoming flights:
April/May: AM MEX-SCL 788 (J), AM EZE-MEX 789 (J).
 
Alejo6
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Re: TLC airport... What is it all about?

Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:02 pm

EddieDude wrote:
On paper, Toluca looks great:

+Not too far from the wealthy west of the city (not just the northwest like someone mentioned, but the entire westside thanks to the tollroad that connects Periférico Sur with Santa Fe).
+The drive from Santa Fe to TLC is mostly on a highway, so even if it may get busy sometimes, it can totally take way more time to drive from the westside to MEX than to TLC on a bad traffic day.
+Long runway.
+Plenty of space for infrastructure.

The thing is that if you can choose your flights ex-MEX at a time of the day when you will not encounter so much traffic, it makes way more sense to commute to MEX than to TLC, even from neighborhoods in the west such as Lomas, Polanco, Tecamachalco, etc. and in the southwest like Pedregal, San Jerónimo, etc.

There are many other negatives (from the pax perspective, not necessarily from the airlines' perspective):

-No high speed public transportation from Mexico City to TLC.
-You can take the freeway, but for inhabitants of a metro area so large who always are in a hurry, it makes more sense to take tollroads, and tolls are pricey.
-Do you want to drive to TLC, park your car there (more money) and then drive back when you return from your trip? It seems an unnecessary hassle.
-Ubers and "Caminante" taxis are super expensive between TLC and Mexico City.
-Shuttle buses/vanettes between Mexico City and TLC have a limited number of seats, probably don't have super flexible schedules, and have very specific pick-up and drop-off points that may be very inconvenient to many people.
-Fares ex-MEX can be super cheap on the likes of Viva and Volaris. If you could be sure that flying TLC-XXX-TLC is going to be notoriously cheaper than MEX-XXX-MEX even after adding the cost of transporting yourself, your companions, and your bags to TLC and back, then maybe TLC could be an option, but that is so not the case.

Mexico City and its catchment area have been doomed to have a deficient and miserable airport infrastructure as a result of the cancellation of the new MEX that was going to be constructed in Texcoco, not too far away from the current MEX. No matter how much TLC is enlarged, pimped and beautified, it is very unlikely that it will become a suitable alternative if no high-speed train is built. Santa Lucía? No thanks. I have absolutely no interest in driving, Ubering or otherwise getting to such a far away place surrounded by sketchy favelas and suburbs.

Thank you for making a such comprehensive post about TLC's shortcomings and why it isn't as succesful as it could be nowadays.
Now, the question is, if you were in the place of AMLO, who btw, cancelled the new MEX airport construction, what would you do with TLC?

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