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Mérida airport quickly works to replace lost flights to Monterrey

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Aeroméxico’s Embraer 190.

Mérida, Yucatán — Grupo ASUR reacted quickly to the news that Aeroméxico will cancel its Mérida-Monterrey route, talking with VivaAerobus about increasing its own flights to the northern city.

Mérida is connected to Monterrey by Aeromexico, VivaAerobus and Volaris, but the former uses the smallest aircraft of the three, a 76-seat Embraer. When there is higher demand, it provides a 95-seat plane.

In this way, says ASUR Director Héctor Navarrete Muñoz, connectivity between the two cities won’t be diminished. The route is popular with business travelers.

ASUR operates nine international airports in the southeast, including Mérida.

Aeroméxico has a daily flight to Monterrey and this year reported its flights were 75 percent full.

VivaAerobus’s daily flight fills a 188-seat jet at 85 percent. In high season, the airport has two daily flights, indicating capacity to fill the void left by Aeroméxico.

“Since we learned about the suspension of flights, I asked the routes director of Grupo ASUR, Alejandro Vales, to engage in talks with VivaAerobus so that they could permanently place their second flight,”Navarrete Muñoz said. “We hope to tie up that second flight soon, but connectivity is definitely not affected, and the route would benefit because that airline uses larger-capacity aircraft.”

Volaris has a daily flight, except Thursday, with a 170-seat plane that is filled, on average, at 80 percent.

So far this year, the Mérida-Monterrey route has had 172,074 passengers, of which VivaAerobus carries 94,987 (55.20 percent); Volaris, 57,696 (33.53 percent); and Aeromexico, 19,391 (11.2 percent).

Aeroméxico this week announced the cancellation of nine routes and the withdrawal of five aircraft due to increasing fuel prices and other factors. They also suspended the Cancún-Guadalajara and Monterrey-Veracruz routes.

Aeroméxico has already begun to cut  back its itinerary between Mérida and Monterrey, removing Wednesday and Saturday flights. As of Sunday, Jan. 7, it will suspend the route entirely.

Source: Diario de Yucatán

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