Worldwide, the recovery of the Mexico-US aviation market is gaining headlines. According to Airlines For America, Mexico has become the number one country pair by total nonstop air passengers for the US.
By September, 946,000 people traveled between both countries, according to the latest data of Airlines for America. This market dwarfed the traditional former leading destinations for US travelers: Canada and the UK.
Many airlines are seeing the current trend and will try to benefit from the recovery of the market, which, according to OAG, was 28.2% below October 2019 numbers, the best worldwide. For example, last week, United Airlines announced the resumption of two routes to Mexican leisure destinations and the increase of frequencies in 22 routes.
Likewise, Mexican airlines have resumed their transborder flights. Even Interjet has shown interest in the international market by announcing its first two international flights since March. According to the airline, it will fly from Puebla to Houston and New York, although information remains scarce.
Let’s put into perspective the importance of the Mexico-US market right now:
According to data from the Mexican Ministry of Transportation, SCT, in August, Mexico had an international flow of passengers of 915,747. Of this total, 850,403 traveled between Mexico and the United States. That’s 92.86% of the international market in Mexico.
But that’s not all. According to the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), in August, the total number of passengers that traveled from this region to North America was 597,266. That means that 76.07% of the passenger traffic from Latin America into North America came solely from the Mexico-US market.
The most important routes between the two countries
Recently, Volaris CEO Enrique Beltranena said that if one has to look at the second most inhabited city by Mexicans, you would have to travel to Los Angeles, California.
Los Angeles is now the most important city by the number of passengers, surpassing New York. And also, the most important transborder city pair is Los Ángeles-Guadalajara. Until August, it had 336 thousand passengers.
Eight out of the ten main international routes from Mexico are to the US. Los Angeles-Guadalajara is number one; DFW-Cancun is number three, with 227,000 passengers. Then it follows Houston-Cancun, Mexico-Los Angeles, Chicago-Cancun, Miami-Mexico, Mexico-Houston, and New York-Mexico. Number two is Toronto-Cancun, and number ten is Montreal-Cancun.
Despite Los Angeles-Guadalara being the number one city pair by passenger traffic, it is not the city pair that has performed the best in the last few months. Look at this graph.
As we see, Dallas-Cancun and Houston-Cancun have performed better and are nearing the numbers they had previous to the pandemic’s arrival in Mexico. We will keep on checking the development of the Mexican international market in the following months. We can already see that some routes are stalling.
Daniel Martínez Garbuno
Daniel Martínez Garbuno is a Mexican journalist. He has specialized in the air industry working mainly for A21, a Mexican media outlet focused entirely on the aviation world. He has also published on other sites like Simple Flying, Roads & Kingdoms, Proceso, El Economista, Buzos de la Noticia, Contenido, and Notimex.