Airline suspends Brownsville-Monterrey flight

On July 15, 2011, the first AeroMexico flight from Monterrey, Mexico, arrived at Brownsville South Padre International Airport to much fanfare. Less than a month later, Mexico’s largest airline announced it would extend by a year its trial run of service to Brownsville and add a third flight during the week. Last year, AeroMexico doubled its weekly Brownsville flights during April to accommodate Semana Santa travelers.

Aeropuerto Internacional de MonterreyEarly this month, the airline suspended regular service between Brownsville and Monterrey, citing declining passenger loads. A final flight was scheduled for June 7.

But according to airport spokesman Michael Jones, the situation is likely temporary. He believes AeroMexico could resume Brownsville service in the fall after it has swapped out its older fleet of regional jets for newer aircraft.

But Jones conceded that passenger loads were in decline. Gil Salinas, executive vice president of the Brownsville Economic Development Council, said AeroMexico has indicated it intends to keep an eye on the border market, leaving open the possibility that service could eventually resume.

The Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation, based on a recommendation from BEDC, in 2011 approved subsidies of up to $500,000 for a year to help lure the airline. Another $175,000 was approved to market the Brownsville-to-Monterrey service, both in the Rio Grande Valley and in Mexico. Of the marketing funds, $100,000 went to Brownsville advertising firm Breeden McCumber and $44,000 to AeroMexico for marketing in Mexico, Salinas said. Of the $500,000 GBIC approved to subsidize the airline’s service to Brownsville in the event of inadequate ticket sales, he added, none of it has been spent “to date.” GBIC’s incentives are funded by a quarter-cent city sales tax allocated to the organization, whose primary mission is to grow Brownsville’s manufacturing and industrial sector.

Salinas said AeroMexico’s service to Brownsville had a strong first year before passenger numbers began to dwindle. “They recorded healthy numbers for the first year of operation,” he said. “Their second year, that’s when they started noticing a decline in boarding. That’s what resulted in their decision.”

Salinas said the drop in passenger loads was largely a result of heightened security on the toll road between Reynosa and Monterrey. “Driver confidence is up,” he said. “It’s gotten easier to drive from Brownsville to Monterrey than it was two years ago.” Also, having to be at the airport two hours before international flight departures wasn’t an efficient use of time considering Monterrey is only about two hours from Reynosa by car, Salinas said.

Jones said he believes the decline in passenger numbers was more the result of the time of day flights were being offered and the high price of tickets. He said he believes AeroMexico will be willing to work with the airport on both issues.

Visto 1181 veces Modificado por última vez en Miércoles, 16 Mayo 2018 16:13
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