Mexico City - Southwest Airlines last week announced that they will stop flying to Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport, saying its leisure markets are outperforming this business-heavy travel destination. The airline began offering flights to Mexico City in 2014 and now plans on ceasing operations on March 30, 2019.
"Mexico City was showing very nice improvement," said Gary Kelly, Southwest's chairman and CEO. "It's much more of a business market. And given where we are right now, we just have better business opportunities in terms of deploying that capacity. We'd love for us to be back in Mexico City one of these days."
The airline will continue service to popular Mexican vacation destinations, including Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas; and many other tropical international locales, including Belize, Costa Rica and Jamaica.
According to Kelly, beginning service to Hawaii is a priority for Southwest. The airline is working to initially offer flights between California and four destinations in the islands.
"We are [also] working on better commercial capabilities in terms of marketing in foreign countries, accepting foreign currency and all of those things... which would support service to a place like Mexico City better than what we have today."
Southwest has faced stiff competition in Mexico City. Mexican travelers are more familiar with Aeromexico, which has a hub in Mexico City and provides a lot of connectivity; and Interjet, a well-known lower-fare airline.Sources: Houston Chronicle • Travel Pulse