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WestJet flights between Toronto and Mérida make a comeback

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Passenger numbers continue to increase at Mérida’s international airport, after a dramatic drop-off in arrivals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

After nearly two years, the Canadian airline WestJet has begun to operate direct flights between Mérida and Toronto once again.

The first of several scheduled winter flights arrived in Mérida’s international airport yesterday at 1:20 p.m.

Westjet has scheduled weekly Tuesday flights between Toronto and Mérida until late March but says that it may extend the season if demand keeps up. 

“Recovering this route is a big deal for Mérida. Canadians have long had a special affection for our city and state, and it’s great to see them start to come back in larger numbers,” said Yucatán’s tourism director, Michelle Fridman.

The return of the flight comes as a relief to Yucatán’s Canadian residents as well as a great many snowbirds who had become accustomed to the hassle-free direct flight. 

In February, Canada suspended all flights to Mexico and the Caribbean due to reports of high levels of COVID-19 infections. 

Earlier: Mérida will replace its airport with a new one, governor confirms

Critics of the move argued Canada’s cancellation of all flights to México and the Caribbean was unfair to the region as it favored destinations such as Florida. 

Others considered the targeting of Mexico and the Caribbean as particularly unfair to those with family and close ties in the region.

Toronto’s Pearson International is Canada’s busiest airport and serves as the country’s most important travel hub to destinations across the world. 

Over the past year or so, several international airline routes have resumed air connectivity with Mérida, mostly originating in the United States. 

Since March, Mérida’s airport has also seen a dramatic uptick in domestic traffic, with nearly sold-out daily flights from Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Tijuana. 

Travelers in Yucatán will soon have a new destination for their getaways: the Central American country of Guatemala. The new flight is scheduled to begin operating in March and will be operated by TAG Airlines several times a week.

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