Flights to Oakland, California with a stopover in Mexico City will begin Jan. 18, Yucatan tourist officials said. The route is being planned by the “ultra-low-cost” airline Volaris.
The route was created with separated families in mind. The Bay Area, particularly Oakland its across-the-bay neighbor San Francisco, has the largest population of Yucatecans in the United States, next to Los Angeles.
Flights will be scheduled four times a week — Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays — said SEFOTUR director Michelle Fridman. Tickets are on sale with an introductory price of US$89.99.
Nearly 90% of an estimated 180,000 Yucatecan migrants live in the United States. Their remittances are a major source of money for the state’s economy.
“That is why we found a huge area of opportunity to take advantage of this great wealth that exists with the Yucatecan community that resides there, to strengthen this flight from the commercial and the tourist areas,” said Fridman.
The Merida-Oakland flight will be Volaris’ first international route from Yucatan, said Miguel Aguiñaga Rodríguez, the airline’s director of market development.
“This new route that increases air connectivity in the state was carried out in a joint effort at the request of the governor and the entire community of Yucatecans who live in the Bay area and have requested this flight,” said Aguiñaga Rodríguez.
United Airlines’ Mérida-Houston flight was also reactivated. Planes with as many as 160 passengers will fly four times a week, ramping up to seven days between Dec. 15 and Jan. 4.
Merida’s Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport has recovered 69.2% of the domestic flights and 75% of the international flights lost when the pandemic practically shut down air travel.