Southwest looks to boost its U.S.-Mexico flights
For Southwest Airlines, the Mexican market represents a growth opportunity not only in tourism and business, but also in the family and friends segments, to and from the United States.
“The subject is new for us, because it is a segment of the population that is flying. We have a strong brand, there will always be competition everywhere, but you can also win customers,” the airline spokesman, Brad Hawkins, said.
In an interview with Notimex, he said the airline’s strategy to compete in this area will be the advantages it has, among them, the provided service, low tariffs and no extra charges for changes in tickets.
He said they are analyzing the possible routes, which would be added to the 50 potential destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean, Alaska and Hawaii, as well as in several cities in Mexico.
“There are large cities in Mexico where Southwest doesn’t exist and where we think the value is going to be a very different thing: the tourism, business and family market,” he said.
Hawkins mentioned that due to the new bilateral agreement on aviation between Mexico and the United States, they requested to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) services between Oakland International Airport to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, as well as Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, from February 2017.
“There are many opportunities, we have low tariffs, no extra charges for luggage, we have no fees on changes in tickets and for that reason we have a different value with the US brands,” he said.
Hawkins said that there is no space for more flights and airlines at “Benito Juarez” Mexico City International Airport (AICM, for its acronym in Spanish), so its operations will be set until the new airport is finished.
Southwest expects to maintain its growth in the country this year, as well as passenger load factor on all flights operating, ranging between 85 and 88 percent, through the incorporation of more planes and the new routes approval.