New U.S. flights to Merida and Cancun should soon get off the ground
New flights that American carriers planned to launch from Miami to Merida and Los Angeles to Cancun that were being held up by Mexican officials should soon get off the ground, the AP reported Monday Dec. 12.
Less than a week after launching service from Los Angeles International Airport to Cancun and two other Mexican cities, Southwest Airlines had canceled more than 40 of those flights since Wednesday Dec. 7 due to an authorization issue with the Mexican government that drew a response from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Meanwhile, American Airlines had encountered the same problem with planned service between Merida and Miami.
That direct flight was scheduled to launch Nov. 4, but was delayed because of a lack of authorization from the Mexican government, AA spokesman Matt Miller said.
Many passengers had purchased tickets through AA only to find their flights canceled.
But the AP reported Monday Dec. 12 that spokesmen for both airlines said plans for the new service to Cancun and Merida should soon become reality.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is working “in close coordination with Southwest and our Mexican counterparts to resolve difficulties in operating to Mexico,” a spokeswoman said Friday.
Southwest’s Los Angeles to Mexico routes were the first flights to take advantage of the treaty when they launched Dec. 4, according to the company.
The airline said it submitted all the required paperwork to Mexican aviation authorities more than three months ago and the routes are “fully compliant with terms of the bilateral aviation accord.”
But until late last week, the Mexican government hadn’t issued the required permits authorizing Southwest to operate the flights.
Southwest inaugurated the service with a flight from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta on Sunday and continued operating flights Monday and Tuesday. But by Wednesday, the airline had canceled the 10 daily flights between Los Angeles and Mexico, with cancellations continuing at least through Sunday.