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Airports

Keen appetites driving Americas route development

20 February 2019
At the Routes Americas event, Aeroméxico announced two new routes to destinations in Colombia and Ecuador from its home hub of Mexico City. Source: Getty Images

Start-up airlines and established carriers announced new services during the Routes Americas conference on 12–14 February, reflecting how the air transport sector in the region is expanding and providing more business opportunities for airports.

Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) Jetlines, for example, unveiled plans to add conference host Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport on its route network when it begins operating later this year. The airline also intends to begin operations from regional airport hubs in Abbotsford and Hamilton.

Mexican flag carrier and Skyteam alliance member Aeroméxico also announced new routes from its home hub of Mexico City to Cali, Colombia and Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Meanwhile, Tracy Cooper, CEO of Bahamasair, announced that his company is actively searching for partner airlines to help handle double-digit growth in passenger volume.

Jetlines CEO Javier Suarez described Canada as one of the easiest countries in the world to launch a ULCC. “It’s a very promising market,” he said at the annual route development forum, which was attended by delegates from 80 airlines and 300 airports from North, Central, and South America.

Suarez predicted its no-frills approach will attract plenty of the five million Canadians who drive to the US. “We’re focusing on starting in the right way and growing rapidly so we’re going to be a winner in this game,” said Suarez. “We’re going to give people the kind of capacity they want and deserve.”

Aeroméxico commercial executive vice-president Anko van der Werff said the opening of two new routes into South America in May will expand the Mexican national flag carrier’s international and regional networks.

He said his company would be building on more than 20 years’ presence in South America and has flown into seven major cities in the region. In Colombia, for instance, Bogotá and Medellín are served by four weekly non-stop flights to the Mexican capital.

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