August 8, 2008
OMA’s July 2008 Total Passenger Traffic Decreases 4.4%; Year to Date Traffic Increases 6.0%
MONTERREY, Mexico, Aug. 8, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Mexican airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte, S.A.B. de C.V., known as OMA, reports that total passenger traffic (terminal passengers) at its 13 airports decreased 4.4% in July 2008, as compared to July 2007.
Domestic traffic in July 2008 decreased 5.0% (-19,936 passengers), compared to the prior year period. The airports that reported the most significant decreases in passenger traffic were Durango, Culiacan, Zihuatanejo, and Mazatlan. The airports with the most significant increases were Acapulco and San Luis Potosi, with the latter benefiting from the start of up of operations of Alma on July 1st.
International traffic decreased 0.6% (-1,049 passengers) in July 2008, as compared to July 2007. Airports with the most significant reductions in international traffic volume were Culiacan, Mazatlan, Zihuatanejo, and Zacatecas. The principal traffic increases were in Monterrey and Tampico, with the latter reflecting a new American Eagle route to Dallas that opened in April 2008.
Total Passengers* ------------------------------------------------------------------ (Thousand) Jul-07 Jul-08 Change % Jan-Jul Jan-Jul Change % 2007 2008 Domestic 1,214.9 1,154.1 (5.0) 6,706.4 7,219.8 7.7 International 204.3 203.0 (0.6) 1,559.0 1,542.5 (1.1) ------------- ------- ------- ------ -------- -------- ------ OMA Total 1,419.2 1,357.1 (4.4) 8,265.4 8,762.3 6.0 ------------- ------- ------- ------ -------- -------- ------ * Terminal passengers: excludes transit passengers
The year over year decrease in monthly traffic results from three principal factors. First, airlines have acted rapidly to the increase in oil prices, canceling routes, reducing flight frequencies, and adjusting tariffs, among other actions. Second, July 2007 was the month with the highest volume of traffic in OMA's history, which affects the inter-annual comparisons.
The third factor is regulatory. The Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) suspended temporarily the operations of several airlines for non-payment of government royalties for the use of Mexican airspace. Aerocalifornia (2.7% of OMA's total passenger traffic in the first seven months of 2008) was suspended on July 24, 2008, and Avolar (0.7% of total traffic) was suspended effective August 5, 2008. The SCT has also stated the possibility of suspending Aviacsa (8.2% of total traffic), however, Aviacsa received on August 6th a permanent court injunction that enables it to keep using Mexican airspace.
Monterrey, OMA's principal airport, served 665,949 passengers in July 2008, a decrease of 2.6% (-17,838 passengers) compared to the same month of 2007. Domestic traffic at Monterrey airport decreased 4.6% principally as a result of lower traffic on routes to Hermosillo, Veracruz, Chihuahua, and Ciudad Juarez. International traffic increased 9.9% as a result of new routes opened in recent months (Austin, Detroit, New York, and Los Angeles). In addition Aeromexico inaugurated their twice weekly Monterrey-Rome route on July 26th.
Acapulco, OMA's third largest airport, recorded growth of 10.2% in July. Domestic traffic increased 12.7% as a result of an increase in passenger traffic to and from Toluca, Tijuana, and Monterrey. International traffic decreased 3.3%, principally as a result of lower traffic from the United States and Canada.
The full traffic report is available at http://ir.oma.aero
Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte, S.A.B. de C.V., known as OMA, operates 13 international airports in nine states of central and northern Mexico. OMA's airports serve Monterrey, Mexico's third largest metropolitan area, the tourist destinations of Acapulco, Mazatlan, and Zihuatanejo, and nine other regional centers and border cities. OMA employs over 900 persons in order to offer passengers and clients, airport and commercial services in facilities that comply with all applicable international safety, security standards, and ISO 9001:2000. OMA's strategic shareholder members are ICA, Mexico's largest engineering, procurement, and construction company, and Aeroports de Paris Management, subsidiary of Aeroports de Paris, the second largest European airports operator. OMA is listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange (OMA) and on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (OMAB). Please visit our website, www.oma.aero.
This press release may contain forward-looking information and statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and projections about future events. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the words "believe,""expect,""anticipate,""target," or similar expressions. While OMA's management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and are generally beyond the control of OMA, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those discussed in our Annual Report filed on Form 20-F under the caption "Risk Factors." OMA undertakes no obligation to publicly update its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
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CONTACT: OMA Victor Bravo Martin, CFO +52.81.8625.4300 ext.308 [email protected] Zemi Communications Daniel Wilson +1.212.689.9560 [email protected]