Cal Jet Air to Support Inbound Tourism Demand to Mazatlan

US virtual airline Cal Jet Air is to launch a three month series of flights to the Mexican city of Mazatlan from five points in its home country in early 2013.  The company has agreed a strategic partnership with the Mazatlan city mayor and state government to introduce these flights to support what the Mexican Tourism Board claims is a growing demand for inbound visitors to the city on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

Using a Boeing 737-400 of XTRA Airways, Cal Jet Air will introduce 1,350 inbound seats a week into the market providing twice weekly services to Mazatlan from Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and Oakland and a weekly rotation from San Antonio.  These flights will operate from January 9, 2013 until April 9, 2013.  Cal Jet Air will offer a two-class service with the 737-400 configured with 12 Business Class seats in a four-abreast arrangement and 138 Economy seats in a traditional six-abreast layout.

The announcement follows extensive research conducted by the Mexican Tourism Board on air connectivity, airline efficiency and air capacity from major American markets, which shows that Mazatlan needs more air seats to keep up with growing demand. To support this demand the state government has now invested in this strategic partnership with Cal Jet and has committed to an additional $2 million investment to strengthen international tourism.

In addition to new routes from Cal Jet, US Airways is increasing frequency and seat capacity in Mazatlan from Phoenix and American Airlines this month restores a direct route to the city from Dallas/Fort Worth International.  Mazatlan is also served from the US by Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Sun Country Airlines and United Airlines.

The Mazatlan Tourism Board predicts an investment upwards of $10 million in tourism promotion by the end of 2012, including the additional commitment by the state government – combined the largest commitment to date – to further generate demand and expand into new target markets to expand air connectivity into the city. 

According to officials, domestic travel is steadily on the rise and more air capacity is also required to support this growing demand.  Recently Magnicharters, Aeromexico, Volaris and VivaAerobus have all increased schedules, offering additional capacity from the capital, Mexico City, as well as from Monterrey and Tijuana.

Last year Mazatlan’s General Rafael Buelna International Airport was ranked as the 17thlargest airport in Mexico, handling 722,492 passengers, down around four per cent on the previous year.  According to O&D statistics around 245,000 passengers travelled between Mazatlan and destinations in the US last year, and in the table below we highlight the top ten markets by O&D demand.

LARGEST MARKETS BETWEEN MAZATLAN AND THE UNITED STATES (bi-directional O&D traffic, 2011)

Rank

Destination

Estimated O&D Passengers

% Demand Share

1

Los Angeles International (LAX)

59,680

24.4 %

2

Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX)

22,295

9.1 %

3

Seattle Tacoma International (SEA)

15,039

6.1 %

4

Minneapolis - St Paul International (MSP)

13,472

5.5 %

5

Denver International (DEN)

8,361

3.4 %

6

Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH)

7,389

3.0 %

7

Las Vegas McCarran International (LAS)

5,298

2.2 %

8

San Francisco International (SFO)

4,407

1.8 %

9

Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)

4,113

1.7 %

10

San Jose International (SJC)

4,112

1.7 %

(Others)

100,421

41.1 %

TOTAL

244,587

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