Mexico’s airlines are listening. Carriers are responding to
increasing United States and Canadian demand for service by
widening options to the country’s many destinations, therefore
contributing to the potential boost in international tourist
During the past six months, a mix of major airlines and low-cost
carriers in the U.S. and Canada have enhanced service schedules to
various regions of Mexico through additional frequencies of
existing routes and the launch of new services.
“That airlines across the board are increasing flight options to
Mexico demonstrates the high degree of confidence the travel
industry has in our country, and the interest travelers have in
discovering Mexico for themselves,” commented Magdalena Carral, CEO
of the Mexico Tourism Board.
“Mexicans are known around the world for their warmth and
hospitality, and North American travelers will be welcomed with
open arms,” she added.
Expansion of air transportation inbound to Mexico is aligned with
the goal of the Mexican government’s comprehensive, long-term
tourism plan to increase the number of international visitors. With
21.9 million visitors in 2005, the country is ranked seventh as an
international tourism destination, according to World Tourism
Organization figures released in June 2006.
Among the airlines increasing flights is Delta Air Lines
(www.delta.com). In recent months, the Atlanta-based carrier
initiated new nonstop service to Acapulco, Merida and Ixtapa from
Atlanta; Mazatlan from Salt Lake City; and both Puerto Vallarta and
Acapulco from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Delta’s continued expansion will include the launch of nonstop
service between Atlanta and Leon/Guanajuato, effective Dec. 1, as
well as to add a second daily roundtrip flight between JFK and
Mexico City effective Dec. 15. From the West Coast, Delta will
offer Los Angeles travelers to Mexico the advantage of nine new
nonstop flights starting Dec. 15.
Frontier Airlines (www.frontierairlines.com) has announced plans
to launch roundtrip service between Denver and Guadalajara, marking
the eighth Mexican city to be served by Frontier. Slated to begin
Dec. 22, the four weekly flights are part of the Denver-based
carrier’s plans to increase its Mexican service by 30 percent
during the peak winter holiday season.
The carrier will add flight frequencies from Denver to Cancun,
Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Frontier will also initiate
weekly nonstop service between San Diego and Cancun on Dec. 16.
Adding three new Mexico routes this year, United Airlines
(www.united.com) began Chicago-Cancun service in July. United had
initiated Los Angeles-Cancun and Chicago-Puerto Vallarta routes in
March. Combined, it serves 16 routes between the U.S. and Mexico,
excluding two winter season routes between Denver-Mexico City and
Denver-Ixtapa. The new flights to Mexico are offered via United and
its low-cost counterpart, Ted.
Seasonal flights to be added during the winter months will include
American Airlines’ announced plans to start one roundtrip, nonstop
flight weekly from JFK to Mexico’s San Jose del Cabo in the Baja
California region, effective Dec. 16, 2006-April 9, 2007.
Operating flights to the Mexico market since 1941, American
currently serves San Jose del Cabo with three flights daily from
Dallas/Fort Worth, two daily from Los Angeles and three weekly
flights from Chicago.
Plans to lengthen its list of services to Mexico resort cities
this fall with six additional weekly flights from Los Angeles and
The carrier also plans to inaugurate nonstop services between Los
Angeles and La Paz, San Francisco and Cancun, Seattle and Cancun,
as well as between Portland to both Los Cabos and Puerto
Northwest Airlines (www.nwa.com) has announced additional weekday
frequencies during the winter travel season between Minneapolis/St.
Paul and Acapulco, and Manzanillo and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. Subject
to government approval, the airline will also include service from
Detroit to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo from Jan. 20-March 31, 2007, as well
as new service between Memphis and Cozumel to operate on Saturdays
from Feb. 17-April 14, 2007.
Although Continental Airlines (www.continental.com) has not added
new services in recent months, the airline remains a strong player
in the market by operating over 580 flights weekly to 30 Mexican
destinations from Texas airports in Laredo, McCallen and Houston,
as well as from Newark’s Liberty International Airport and Los
The increased number of expanded routes, however, has not been
limited to international services. Mexican airlines, particularly
the low-cost carriers, are also boosting services. Private and
semi-private airlines such as Avolar (www.avolar.com.mx), ABC
Interjet (www.interjet.com.mx) and Volaris (www.volaris.com.mx), as
well as Click Mexicana (www.clickmexicana.com) have launched
low-cost flights to different parts of Mexico