Airlines not keeping up with Mérida’s growth, tourism official complains

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Airlines are struggling to keep up with Mérida’s growth. Photo illustration: Getty

Mérida, Yucatán — Too few seats for too many people. While high demand is a “good problem,” a shortage of flights to Mérida is still a problem for airlines to address, said the state tourism secretary, Saúl Ancona Salazar.

His agency is working with numerous airlines to address the deficit, he said, admitting that it’s an uphill battle.

“It’s very complicated to tell an airline to change a flight,” he said.

The International Convention Center, which opened in April, is the major catalyst for lucrative business travel. Since opening, the CIC has signed up 25 conventions, with 20 more in the works.

That leads to an influx of air travelers — many from other countries — to be served, said Ancona Salazar.

ASUR, which manages the Mérida airport, earlier asked airlines to add 7,000 extra seats a week to meet demand.

Héctor Navarrete Muñoz, ASUR’s director, said in March that he has requested a 25 percent increase over the current 28,000 seats available per week.

In the coming days, the CIC will open its doors to two major events. One three-day expo will have 4,400 guests, and a second conference will have as many as 1,200 participants.

For domestic travelers, TAR airline begins flights from Querétaro in mid-June. Viva Aerobús is already linking Mérida with a new Tuxtla Gutiérrez route.

On whether the World Cup or elections could influence summer vacations, he commented that these are external issues, so it is not known if there will be a direct impact.

The CIC’s first big event, aside from its inauguration with President Enrique Peña Nieto, was the three-day urban parks expo and its 1,500 participants from April 25.

ASUR is preparing a growth plan for the Mérida International Airport that will carry it to 2023.

Source: Punto Medio

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