Volaris to Launch Merida-Oakland Route in January 2021

Mexican airline Volaris announced that as of January 18, 2021, it will launch a new international route between Yucatan state capital Merida and Oakland, CA. The carrier will fly Airbus A320 planes on the route, which will operate every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

The new route follows months of work that the Yucatán Ministry of Tourism (Sefotur) has done with airlines to gradually and in an orderly manner reactivate air service into the state, based on the needs of each destination, and to recover from the global COVID-19 pandemic. In keeping with the policies of the state’s “Economic Reactivation Program,” Sefotur kept in constant communication with the different airlines serving Yucatán, enrolling them in the “Good Health Practices Certification of Yucatán” program and informing them of the health-care measures implemented.

Volaris now is operating six domestic Mexico routes to Yucatán with very good results, it said in a press announcement. The Oakland service will be the carrier’s first international route to Mérida. The new route means the state will now enjoy connectivity with the U.S. via three regional points: On the East Coast with Miami; the Midwest and South through Houston; and the West Coast with Oakland.

Since the full closure of tourist activities in Yucatán, air connectivity has recovered significantly. Of the total of 13 domestic routes that operated until February 2020, nine of these had been restored by December, equivalent to 69.2 percent of national routes or 17,451 seats. Three of four former international routes—to Miami, Houston and Havana—have been reinstated prior to Oakland. Planned flights to a fifth international destination—Toronto, Canada—remain on hold for 2021.

Also of note: Volaris went from two to four weekly flights on its domestic Mérida-Tijuana route as of December 4. Additionally, United Airlines, which received the first authorization to reactivate international service, on its Houston-Mérida route December 1, will increase flights on that route from six to seven weekly as of December 17, representing an increase from almost 600 weekly seats to 1,050 by the end of 2020. 

While Aeroméxico operates 44 weekly flights on its Mexico City-Mérida route, Volaris will increase its frequencies from 17 to 19 weekly flights on the same route as of December 16. Viva Aerobús, meanwhile, will go from 15 to 18 flights between those cities on December18, and will increase weekly flights to Guadalajara from four to five as of December 19.

In total, Yucatán has recovered 131 weekly flights and more than 19,000 seats on domestic and international routes.

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