U.S.-Mexico flights open up, likely to get cheaper

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A Delta-Aeroméxico airplane taxis the runway at Atlanta. Photo: Getty
A Delta-Aeroméxico airplane taxis the runway at Atlanta. Photo: Getty

Most restrictions on flights between the U.S. and Mexico were lifted Sunday, which most likely means more options and lower prices for travelers going in either direction.

As a result, American Airlines will begin flying between Miami and Mérida on Nov. 4 and from Los Angeles to Cancun and Puerto Vallarta on Dec. 15.

Delta and Southwest have also announced new flights later this year and United says it is watching the market will respond accordingly.

The U.S. and Mexico agreed in December to open their aviation markets to each other’s carriers. That obliterates the rule limiting just two or three three airlines from each country to a particular route. In fact, airlines from both countries can now apply to fly anywhere, for any price. The competition is broadly thought to be a predictor of lower airfares

“This will help reduce airfares for sure,” George Hobica, founder of the travel site airfarewatchdog.com, told the Associated Press.

In June, Southwest Airlines filed applications to fly from Los Angeles to three more Mexican cities, including Cancun.

The catch

Hobica said that base fares are inflated by taxe imposed by both countries

“The fares are low, it’s the rest that makes it seem expensive,” he told the AP.

For example, on a round trip between Dallas-Fort Worth and Cancun,  taxes and fees can account for between 20 and 30 percent of the price of an economy-class ticket of $383 to $585.

New flights galore

The agreement does not include Mexico City’s main airport, so U.S. carriers will focus on Mexico’s resort towns.

Aside from the Miami-Mérida flight from Atlantic, airlines announced other new routs.

Delta will start daily nonstop flights between New York’s Kennedy airport and Cancun and between Los Angeles and Los Cabos on Dec. 17. Saturday flights will run between Kansas City and Cancun.

Southwest said that on Dec. 4, daily flights from Los Angeles to Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta will begin.

The agreement also allows U.S. cargo carriers fly from airports in Mexico to other countries without stopping in the U.S.

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