For the first time in nearly a decade, international travelers can now book a flight from L.A./Ontario International Airport to Mexico City.
The Mexican air carrier AeroMexico announced Wednesday morning it will offer four weekly round-trip flights beginning on April 6.
“With the Mexico City route we are going to open Ontario, California to more than 40 cities in Mexico. We are also going to open Ontario to destinations in Central and South America,” said Gabriel Parra, regional sales director for AeroMexico.
The last time the carrier offered service to the capital of Mexico was in 2000. The now defunct Azteca Airlines flew to Mexico City from ONT until 2007.
International travel has seen rapid growth at ONT. In 2014, international travel was up by 58 percent with two air carriers serving 90,731 passengers compared to 57,473 passengers in 2013.
Offering service to Mexico City not only taps into the 20 million residents in that area, but allows travelers in Ontario to connect to other airports in the country through the regional hub, Romo said.
“There is an unmet demand in international traffic,” Romo said. “The goal is to create a healthy route for both sides.”
According to 2012 Census data, 50 percent or 1.05 million of San Bernardino County’s population is Hispanic.
Parra said Mexico City International Airport offers nonstop destinations to almost every country in Central and Latin America.
“Mexico City for us is our hub and is very strategic because we can connect Ontario with Europe, Asia, Central American and even Cuba,” he said. “The connectivity for leisure or business travel is very convenient.”
Romo said he has been in contact with another low-cost carrier in Mexico that currently does not offer service on the West Coast, and is interested in serving ONT in 2016.
AeroMexico already has four flights a week to Guadalajara from Ontario. For a couple of years, AeroMexico was not only the lone international service out of ONT but the only carrier to serve the Hispanic market in the Inland Empire.
“We grow where it makes sense for us,” Parra said. “In Ontario, we started working in 2013 with Guadalajara flights and through teamwork with Los Angeles and Ontario we have had success.”
Low-cost carrier Volaris began service at ONT last April with two weekly flights to Guadalajara. In September, the carrier added a third flight to the route.
“The additional AeroMexico service at ONT is welcome news for Inland Empire travelers who no longer will need to commute to a distant Southland airport for travel to Mexico City,” said Ontario Councilman Alan Wapner.
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