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Cancun’s Strong Air Traffic Growth Prompts ASUR Earnings Hike

23 October, 2016

One of Mexico’s largest airport operators has announced sky-high earnings thanks to rising tourism numbers in Cancun and throughout the Riviera Maya region,which is home to popular destinations like Playa del Carmen,Puerto Aventuras and Tulum. Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste,or ASUR (NYSE: ASR),owns and operates nine airports in Mexico,but the Cancun International Airport continues to be the company’s main driver of financial results,according to The Motley Fool.

“That was certainly the case during the third quarter,as Cancun drove the bulk of its passenger traffic growth.”

Further proof of the growing popularity of tourism in Cancun and throughout Mexico’s Riviera Maya can be seen in ASUR’s current construction of a fourth airport terminal in Cancun,as the company prepares to handle even more traffic at this bustling location. According to the numbers,traffic rose from 6.6 million total travelers during the third quarter of 2015,compared to 7.2 million passengers in the same period this year,representing a 10.2 percent increase year over year.

“Cancun supplied the bulk of those passengers,accounting for 56 percent of total domestic passenger traffic,” wrote The Motley Fool. “Internationally,Cancun was an even more significant contributor to traffic.”

International travel to Cancun and Mexico’s Riviera Maya accounted for 95 percent of the total international passengers during 2016,with 3.3 million people heading to this beloved Caribbean destination. As a result,ASUR’s total international traffic growth was also up,hitting 3.5 million after rising 7 percent this year.

“ASUR continues to leverage its increasing traffic at Cancun by capturing more revenue per passenger,” wrote The Motley Fool. “Last quarter the company’s total commercial revenue improved by 14.2 percent.”

This amounts to about $6 USD per person – not enough for most individual travelers to notice,but more than enough to add up quickly when multiplied by the rising number of people using the services. This growth was driven by an increase in teleservices,a jump in food and beverage operations and an increase in retail sales.

“The addition of four new food and beverage locations,and eight retail locations at Cancun over the past year was one of the factors driving the increase in revenue per passenger,” wrote wrote The Motley Fool.

Nationwide Rise in Tourism

But it’s not just prime real estate in Cancun,Playa del Carmen and Tulum that is drawing more visitors. Luxury resort-style living at an attractive price is prompting a nationwide rise in tourism numbers throughout Mexico,according to ASUR competitor Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico (NYSE: PAC),

“September was its best month for domestic passenger growth,” wrote The Motley Fool. “Meanwhile,international passenger traffic continues to rise due to lower oil prices and the depreciation of the Mexican peso.”

In September of 2016,those factors reportedly drove Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico’s domestic passenger numbers up by 25.2 percent and its international passenger traffic up by 12 percent. Likewise,rival airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte (NASDAQ: OMAB) reported a major rise in traffic during September,attributed in part to higher traffic on its Cancun routes.

“Those travel trends should continue to drive incremental traffic toward ASUR’s airports,” wrote The Motley Fool. “Cancun stands to benefit the most due to [the recent completion of] the Terminal 3 expansion,which added six new gates and commercial areas,and increased its annual passenger traffic capacity from six million to ten million.”

Now,the new Terminal 4 expansion at the Cancun International Airport is making it easier than ever to experience the unique lifestyle in places like Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Construction on the new terminal will be completed next year,boosting the airport’s annual capacity by at least nine million additional travelers.

“Needless to say,growth at ASUR’s top airport should continue to soar,” concluded The Motley Fool.

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